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phantomkitsune's avatar

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Some quick general notes before I get to individual scores and critiques: I may have missed some grammar and spelling errors and be grading more leniently there than I should. A major irritant for me, though, is misused ellipses. They go where you've taken something out. Not where you are trailing off or pausing. This is a thing to know, and use, and allow to thrust your writing forth to new heights of wonder.

I also find coming-out stories a bit overdone: they are a particular subgenre of bildungsroman that, really, a person only ever needs to read one of, because they all express a facet of the same experience.

Rotsab M. Hyolf
37

Plot: 10 I had to look up Harlow. Making me look up anything is awesome.
Plot Development: 9 I didn't get much of a sense of space until the end, so the passage of time didn't register as having much context.
Grammar/Spelling: 9 There's a misused ellipses, which actually ruined an image I really like of pain as a color.
Entertainment: 9 It unfolded slowly and a bit contemplatively, which is a nicely distinctive voice, but not my favorite mode to read in.

Ysavvryl
36

Plot: 8 It's a vignette, so very little plot.
Plot Development: 10 But quite masterfully handled comedy of manners in the rejection.
Grammar/Spelling: 8
Entertainment: 10

UhhhDavidx3
15

Plot: 4 There was very little verisimilitude.
Plot Development: 6 A lot of the progression was stilted, but it was logical. Having two disparate characters named 'Annie' and 'Anna' was not the most clear-cut thing you could have done, particularly as you make mistakes in who you are referring to at times: most notable in the instigator of a kiss.
Grammar/Spelling: 0 Noting the spelling and grammar mistakes interrupted me frequently enough that I lost track of where I was several times. It impeded the communication of the story, and thus needs serious work.
Entertainment: 5

mollyolly5
25

Plot: 6
Plot Development: 7 You switch perspectives at the end, which weakens it.
Grammar/Spelling: 6 Most if not all lost points were for comma misuse. That may be something you would like to look into further.
Entertainment: 6 Calling someone's eyes slate colored and then obsidian colored does not provide strong imagery, as they are different colors.

piggg
38

Plot: 10
Plot Development: 9 I really liked the foreshadowing with the boy she's utterly uninterested in, but she seems a little hostile about the spirituality of the camp, which makes her revelation of faith surprising.
Grammar/Spelling: 9 Quite good, but Games Pavilion is plural, not possessive, Heaven is capitalized especially for believers, and you employ a double negative.
Entertainment: 10

The Passing of Time
36

Plot: 9
Plot Development: 10 I really liked the framing of the story in emails.
Grammar/Spelling: 10
Entertainment: 7 Referring to transsexuals as a third, separate category and not of the gender they identify as made me really uncomfortable. Distractingly uncomfortable.

The Solarised Night
25

Plot: 9
Plot Development: 8 The author's note at the beginning doesn't really add anything, and is the kind of information that can go at the bottom, for after the reader cares. Names are not the basis of verisimilitude, so while it can have personal significance, it does not have significance to the reader - especially before they even begin the story.
Grammar/Spelling: 1 I critiqued this before when you submitted to Wing's contest, and it still has a lot of the same issues of verb tense: you try for consistently present tense, but end up past tense fairly frequently. Proper nouns, like calling a sister 'Sis,' also need to be capitalized.
Entertainment: 7

haikomori
19

Plot: 4 Vignette, so very little.
Plot Development: 3 It's a coming out story shaded at in jewelry. I guess points for loved ones who are asses enough to subject you to their aesthetics rather than yours.
Grammar/Spelling: 6 The phrase 'light black' threw me. Light black is called grey. Further descriptors are sometimes employed, but 'light black' is not in any way a useful term.
Entertainment: 6

cranberry_kiwi
20

Plot: 3 Not much of a plot, mostly a resolution to do something and a summary of something that might have been a plot.
Plot Development: 5
Grammar/Spelling: 7
Entertainment: 5 The confession of being on anti-depressants as if it were something shameful was a bit iffy.
Rotsab M. Hyolf's avatar

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phantomkitsune
Some quick general notes before I get to individual scores and critiques: I may have missed some grammar and spelling errors and be grading more leniently there than I should. A major irritant for me, though, is misused ellipses. They go where you've taken something out. Not where you are trailing off or pausing. This is a thing to know, and use, and allow to thrust your writing forth to new heights of wonder.

I also find coming-out stories a bit overdone: they are a particular subgenre of bildungsroman that, really, a person only ever needs to read one of, because they all express a facet of the same experience.

Rotsab M. Hyolf
37

Plot: 10 I had to look up Harlow. Making me look up anything is awesome.
Plot Development: 9 I didn't get much of a sense of space until the end, so the passage of time didn't register as having much context.
Grammar/Spelling: 9 There's a misused ellipses, which actually ruined an image I really like of pain as a color.
Entertainment: 9 It unfolded slowly and a bit contemplatively, which is a nicely distinctive voice, but not my favorite mode to read in.


Thanks so much for the feedback! I'm going to assume we can discuss it, but if not that's cool too. Knowing this much is really, really neat. I'm also thrilled to have gotten someone to learn something new! <3

If you mean my misspelling of lonely (lohn) I'll change it; it was intentionally there to try and emphasize the sound of the 'o' but it's gotten mixed feedback so far in terms of coming across that way and not just a typo.

The elipsis thing I actually didn't know about! I knew speaking wholly grammatically it's for things removed, usually when re-quoting but I thought it could double as an example of trailing off (particularly in speech but also used sparingly in narrative). Any idea what I could have used instead? I felt like using dashes or just abruptly switching lines was too sudden for the feel I wanted. Unless it would have worked, in that context? (It's hard critiquing your own work when you know how things are 'supposed' to go, haha.)

Also the time has been an issue as well for quite a bit. Someone recommended weeds getting in through cracks and slowly encompassing the whole area, but that seemed like it would sort of ruin the bubble it all takes place in. I really liked the idea of Doug and Somebody sitting by the glass near each other for years on end, but I had no way to communicate that was what they were doing. I was hoping the ending would at least act as dramatic irony but, again, not the first time I've heard the time thing was a little off.

But yeah, thanks so much for reviewing! I'm thrilled you liked it for the most part! <3
phantomkitsune
Right. I got my assignment earlier, and will be going over all the stories and then posting them with some individual critique. There are apparently some that are entered in my contest as well as this one, so good news: you can edit your entry in mine after getting feedback.

It looks like I'm grading on a curve for grammar and spelling. We may end up grading on a curve for everything else.


Thank you for the feedback. I really appreciate it (as well as the opportunity to edit my entry in your competition).

Also, I just went through my story to correct the things you'd mentioned for the other contest and I didn't see the double negative you mentioned. I'm sure it's there; I'm just not seeing it. Could you point out where it is?
The Passing of Time's avatar

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phantomkitsune

The Passing of Time
36

Plot: 9
Plot Development: 10 I really liked the framing of the story in emails.
Grammar/Spelling: 10
Entertainment: 7 Referring to transsexuals as a third, separate category and not of the gender they identify as made me really uncomfortable. Distractingly uncomfortable.


Thanks for the feedback!

Sorry if I offended you (or anyone else, for that matter) and I'd just like to add that this doesn't represent my own opinion. Perhaps I should have stated that beforehand, but I'd just like to put that out there. It's the character's opinion and was used to make the story more dramatic.

But apart from that, thank you very much. C: I'm glad you liked the emails, I changed it quite a bit before finally coming up with that, I was quite proud. smile
phantomkitsune
.


Thank you very much for the feedback! It definitely helps!

Commas are my arch nemesis! I always struggle with them. Should I use them, should I not? I probably just need a rules of punctuation refresher. Also I did not personally catch that color differentiation. I think I might have made his eyes one color and then decided against it and missed that when I changed it!
phantomkitsune's avatar

Dangerous Enabler

Rotsab M. Hyolf

Thanks so much for the feedback! I'm going to assume we can discuss it, but if not that's cool too. Knowing this much is really, really neat. I'm also thrilled to have gotten someone to learn something new! <3

If you mean my misspelling of lonely (lohn) I'll change it; it was intentionally there to try and emphasize the sound of the 'o' but it's gotten mixed feedback so far in terms of coming across that way and not just a typo.

The elipsis thing I actually didn't know about! I knew speaking wholly grammatically it's for things removed, usually when re-quoting but I thought it could double as an example of trailing off (particularly in speech but also used sparingly in narrative). Any idea what I could have used instead? I felt like using dashes or just abruptly switching lines was too sudden for the feel I wanted. Unless it would have worked, in that context? (It's hard critiquing your own work when you know how things are 'supposed' to go, haha.)

Also the time has been an issue as well for quite a bit. Someone recommended weeds getting in through cracks and slowly encompassing the whole area, but that seemed like it would sort of ruin the bubble it all takes place in. I really liked the idea of Doug and Somebody sitting by the glass near each other for years on end, but I had no way to communicate that was what they were doing. I was hoping the ending would at least act as dramatic irony but, again, not the first time I've heard the time thing was a little off.

But yeah, thanks so much for reviewing! I'm thrilled you liked it for the most part! <3
'Lohn' is definitely ambiguous, even in context.The ellipsis is commonly used to trail off in the past decade or so, especially online, but it's wrong and I'm kind of a hard-a** about ellipses in particular. There really are no good ways to trail off. I tend to just use dashes or dialog tags like "Uhm," she drew out, obviously at a loss for words.

Weeds would definitely violate the bubble-imagery. Having Doug pace the room for context of how large it is, or framing how large the drawings are and how much window is covered. Having the fingers wear down was good, but there was no frame of reference for it, like the material of the window or his finger. Which worked, but it might have been a way to hammer in more passage of time.

I did like it! It is also the sort of thing we like over at Theory Train, once it's been edited.

*hints extravagantly*
*whores out own magazing*
*is not ashamed*
phantomkitsune's avatar

Dangerous Enabler

piggg
Thank you for the feedback. I really appreciate it (as well as the opportunity to edit my entry in your competition).

Also, I just went through my story to correct the things you'd mentioned for the other contest and I didn't see the double negative you mentioned. I'm sure it's there; I'm just not seeing it. Could you point out where it is?
"Who doesn’t love ground beef mashed into a mangy rectangle? Not these fresh little faced bastards that’s for sure."

Which I suppose isn't a true double negative, as it's phrased in question and answer form. But the concatenation was unclear and sloppier than the rest of the piece.
phantomkitsune's avatar

Dangerous Enabler

The Passing of Time
Thanks for the feedback!

Sorry if I offended you (or anyone else, for that matter) and I'd just like to add that this doesn't represent my own opinion. Perhaps I should have stated that beforehand, but I'd just like to put that out there. It's the character's opinion and was used to make the story more dramatic.

But apart from that, thank you very much. C: I'm glad you liked the emails, I changed it quite a bit before finally coming up with that, I was quite proud. smile
Okay, I find that reassuring.

It's definitely understandable that there's a disconnect between what writer and narrator believe. In general, I don't particularly like author's notes that are required reading for the story, but it might be an option for this one.

It definitely does illustrate how her phobia about anything non-mainstream contributes to her self-hatred, so I think it might mostly just make me sad about a young person who lets confusion and what other people think of them drive them over the edge.
phantomkitsune's avatar

Dangerous Enabler

mollyolly5
phantomkitsune
.


Thank you very much for the feedback! It definitely helps!

Commas are my arch nemesis! I always struggle with them. Should I use them, should I not? I probably just need a rules of punctuation refresher. Also I did not personally catch that color differentiation. I think I might have made his eyes one color and then decided against it and missed that when I changed it!
For general punctuation usage, Eats, Shoot and Leaves is something I'd actually suggest over Strunk & White, as the latter is a little outdated and so the usage might be somewhat confusing.
The Passing of Time's avatar

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phantomkitsune
Okay, I find that reassuring.

It's definitely understandable that there's a disconnect between what writer and narrator believe. In general, I don't particularly like author's notes that are required reading for the story, but it might be an option for this one.

It definitely does illustrate how her phobia about anything non-mainstream contributes to her self-hatred, so I think it might mostly just make me sad about a young person who lets confusion and what other people think of them drive them over the edge.


Yes, I find that really sad too, which is kind of why I find myself writing about that a lot. (I'm not sure what that says about me as a person. Um. Nothing too bad, I hope.)

It would be nice if I could find a way of stopping people from feeling like that, though I suppose writing something like this isn't really the way to go about it...

Also! Would you mind if I go back and edit my post to put an author's note on? Just to explain this and everything; I won't change the entry itself, promise.
phantomkitsune
.


Once again, thanks so much for the feedback and I will have to check both of those out!!
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Hey all-

Just a heads up, I will be posting my scores sometime today or tomorrow. It's just been fairly busy with work and grad school apps, so I apologize for the delay. xD
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I'm gonna say a few things up front. First, I was honest. It's not always nice. I didn't hold back in my comments on your pieces. If you have any further questions, or (especially in terms of grammar) would like to see more specifically what I meant (i.e. where the comments are on my open office file, etc.), let me know.

Second, not everyone had in-depth comments. I wrote the comments when I felt very passionate about whatever it was I had to say. Some points required more explanation than others. If you didn't get [lengthy] comments, please don't feel offended.

haikomori
20


Plot: 5 Eh. Not enough detail, wasn't enough for me.
Plot Development: 4...There wasn't much.
Grammar/Spelling: 6
Entertainment: 5


The Solarised Night
26.5


Plot: 8.5
Plot Development: 8
Grammar/Spelling: 2
Entertainment: 8

Comments:
As PK said, you need to be more consistent with your tense. I personally think that, since the story is in the past, it should be past tense. There are certain bits that could be in present, but only when reflecting on ideas that are still applicable in present day (like: “We share a collective memory of violence, though I will never grasp the hardships faced by a twelve year old who wishes he was a girl.”)

TOO MANY SEMICOLONS – most of which were unnecessary. Many of the times you used a semicolon, it would have served more of an impact as separate sentences.

Is this dialogue for real, or fictionalized? It seems stiff and fake in a few places. Read it out loud, and see if it's something you or someone else would actually say out loud, in the moment, without preparation.

PUNCTUATION. ARGHHHHHH. USE IT.

The ending doesn't quite feel right... It could well have been ended at “Don't worry, I'm not going anywhere.”


Pigg
28


Plot: 7
Plot Development: 6 – I liked where it was heading, but I feel like the structure was set up fairly confusing. I normally don't mind sectioned chunks, but I felt like they read as too short with too choppy of a transitioning between each one.
Grammar/Spelling: 8
Entertainment: 7 – Again, I liked where it was heading, but I felt there were gaps in information that soured my interest.


Rostab M. Hyolf
36


Plot: 9.5
Plot Development: 9
Grammar/Spelling: 8.5
Entertainment: 9

Mildly confusing structure at times, but overall well put together. Couple very minor spelling errors/typos (it's Plexi-glass, not pexi) that actually made me wonder if your L key was broken, but anyway xD I also think you need to stop and re-examine some of your sentence structures. I liked the idea of the insertion of definitions, but they still should be grammatically sound. I wondered throughout the whole thing, “I'm really enjoying this, but does it fit the prompt?” Then I reached the end, and it was fantastic. I love the sudden realization that it's two males, and how you brought in typical societal ignorance, seeing violence where there was love, etc. Nice job.


Cranberry_Kiwi
20


Plot: 5
Plot Development: 3
Grammar/Spelling: 9
Entertainment: 3

I didn't notice much wrong in regards to overall grammar or spelling, but the setup was a bit simple. As PK pointed out, there's an acknowledgment in this story, a sort of summary, but there isn't much of an actual plot. Your narrator says that she realizes they have been acting like strangers, but then you reveal such a personal thing- the breaking down over the phone. Overall, I felt like this was just a tiny snippet of a story. You could have delved much deeper into the story and it barely skimmed the surface. You discussed his depression so curtly, and something as deep as that deserved far more attention and time to reveal. I felt the story ended quite abruptly.


Mollyolly5
17


Plot: 6
Plot Development: 3
Grammar/Spelling: 4 – not too many spelling errors, but a LOT of sentence structure issues and so much missing/misplaced punctuation.
Entertainment: 4

For me, the sentence structure was pretty distracting, as there were times where the sentences lost their meaning and lost their sense due to the grammatical errors. Besides that, I feel like there was hardly any development, and nowhere near enough detail about the stuff that matters. The Kenton/Ryder relationship was very rushed and not so clear, and I felt like Kalli came out of nowhere. The structure of the last half, going from his chat with Adrian, to the locker room, to the field, was disorganized and confused. I think this whole story needs a lot more clarification. I also offer the warning: Be wary of going towards the cliché.


UhhhDavidx3
19


Plot: 6
Plot Development: 5
Grammar/Spelling: 4
Entertainment: 4

First of all, you realllllllllly need to work on your punctuation. You also need to work on keeping your characters straight. One bit that REALLY irritated and frustrated me was:

““I dare you to kiss Nick.” He said as everyone besides me and Anna began to laugh.
Anna angrily stared at me. Right before I could say anything Nick had placed his lips on mines. My light blue eyes widened as he did something I surely didn’t expect. I opened my eyes again as he slowly backed away from me. 
“f*****t!” Anna shouted as she got up. Her face looked just as shocked as mine was. “You gay a** f*****t!” She shouted as she slapped me in the face. 
David and Annie got up and jumped in between us two.
I stood back up rubbing my face as a tear started to escape. 
“You big f*****t!” She rampaged. “That’s why this gay mother f******r likes you!” She shouted at Ray.”

I'm honestly not sure if you just switched perspective (which wouldn't make sense if the ENTIRETY of the rest of the story is from Nick's perspective), mixed characters' names, or what. I think the action at the end with Anna happened too quickly, and also that Ray's automatic acceptance of the kiss, Nick's dying (did ANYONE call 911?!), and immediate reciprocation of love and homosexuality was, to be honest, BS. He may have liked the kiss, but I find it very hard to believe that someone would switch around their beliefs that quickly and absolutely. But mostly, I have trouble believing the entire ending situation- no one calls for an ambulance? When/where did Anna get the knife? Did she really beat Ray there?

I think you need to really re-examine your story: Is it cliché? Do I know all of my characters and where they are in each bit? Have I given everyone their fair share of appearance, emotion, and attention? You also need to look at structure: Am I being too short or choppy, moving to fast, moving too slow, or being too repetitive?


The Passing of Time
37


Plot: 10
Plot Development: 9
Grammar/Spelling: 9
Entertainment: 9

There were a couple of minor mistakes here and there (I think you meant to type scared, but it came out as “sc”. Oops?), but overall you were fairly spot on. There was one thing I was very much torn about: the use of the poetry throughout. On one hand, I absolutely loved it. I'm a huge poetry fan, and when poem quotes are used effectively, I melt. One of my favorite uses in this story was “Marks of weakness, marks of woe.” However, there were a number of times when I felt that the italicized line could well have been her normal speech, or, conversely, was a little too “out there” to really be effective. I really loved your idea of the email format, especially to an already dead friend. I especially loved the line, “Don’t look at me, Al. From wherever you are now, please don’t look. I don’t want you to see me like this.” Considering this was to a dead girl, it was bone chilling and fantastic.

Overall, NICE WORK!


Ysavvryl
23

Plot: 5
Plot Development: 3
Grammar/Spelling: 10
Entertainment: 5

I got to the end and blurted out, “That's it?!” It was a sort of quaint atmosphere to the story, but there was hardly any plot. I appreciate the perspective of asexual, which I don't think anyone here had tackled, but come on! She admits she's asexual, and that's it? There's hardly any comment or conversation about it, it doesn't talk about how she handles it or how it's REALLY affected her life... The story just did not feel “ended” in any way. I would love to see this extended and see where it could go. How to put this- I'm not saying longer, time-wise (as in, extending much further into the future), but more detail, more conversation, and let them explore a bit. I just... I was not left satisfied. At all.
The Passing of Time's avatar

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The Love Mutt


Thank you very much for your comments! That line is actually one of my favourites too, it was actually the one which made me get into the whole poetry thing in the first place, ha ha. Although it was hard to put them in and make it sound right, so thanks for your thoughts on that. smile

Also, with the 'scared' part, that was meant to be like that because she was cut off in the middle of typing that email when she was discovered. wink

Once again, thanks for your comments, I'll try and work on the poetry thing next time I try it. biggrin

Um, I've just thought... is it alright that I reply to these? Or should I leave it at 'thanks' and be grateful for the comments?
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It didn't sound to me like you were arguing with us, so that type of response was fine with me.

I only complain to comments about my crits when it turns into whining or complaining. Then I get irritated and feel quite unappreciated. =P

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