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Thread: Need feedback please

  1. #1
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    Need feedback please

    Hi!
    I just suddenly felt the need to start writing again. I wrote a short intro to a story I might possibly be writing, but I would really like some feedback. If it's no good, then I don't think I should continue writing it. I'm new on this site so I still don't know how everything works, but I'll just post the into here and I hope some of you will tell me what you think of it (:
    Here it goes:

    An old legend exists in this town. Some believe it was made up to scare the children to sleep at night, or to keep the young from loitering around the edges of the forest too long after dark. And even though some are convinced that it’s just a fictional story, you’ll come across people who claim they have seen them, that it’s real and scarier than you could ever imagine. Speaking to those people will shake you, because the look in their eyes is so haunted, you might actually start to believe them. In hushed whispers they will speak of their encounters, scared they might be heard and scared that they won’t be spared this time.
    Galiche Orwada’s is what they’re called. A term in the Tormenian tongue, a language that has long been extinct. The closest translation to the English we speak today would be: Fairies of death. However, their initial name is still being used. “Look out, or you might lure an Orwada to you” my mother would warn. Back then I would be scared, I would listen to her warning and never come near the edge of the forest after the sun has set.
    But no one is safe from the Orwada’s. If they have their mind set on you, you’re doomed. You would know when it has happened again. In the early hours of the morning you would hear wails and cries filled with terror. Then you would see someone sitting outside, they knew that it was too late for them. An Orwada would have left flowers at their doorstep, which meant that their time was up. By the time the flowers had wilted, the deed would have been done.
    Or at least, that’s how the legend is told. I have never, in seventeen years, seen something like that happen before. Never have I been woken by terrified screams, never have I seen flowers wilt on anyone’s doorstep. So maybe it is just a story. Maybe. Maybe is what I tell myself, but the feeling that has been tugging on the little parts of my brain tells me otherwise. Ever since I would hear people talk about the Galiche Orwada, my insides would tingle. A tingle that almost resembles a feeling of familiarity.
    A tingle. One that I have ignored completely up until now, but that has started gnawing on the inside of my skin. I have always felt that part of the story was missing. There must have been some sort of reason behind it. Why would these creatures bring harm to innocent people? I don’t know where to seek an answer, but I know that I need an explanation.
    And that’s why I decided to enter the forest, and see for myself what kind of beings can be found there.
    With that decision, without realising it, I turned my whole world upside down.

  2. #2
    The Gnu Normal Pompey Bum's Avatar
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    Hello Senna, welcome to the site. The part of the story you've written is compelling enough for a reader to want to hear more, but it would have been more effective if the narrator hadn't been such a believer from the start. Rather than trying to convince the reader, the narrator could show some skepticism or at least objectivity (which is what will be going on in the reader's mind). "My mother used to warn me...some claimed...but others said it was just...one time a stranger with haunted eyes told me [and tell the whole story of the encounter]...I didn't believe it of course...but one day my life brought me to the forest..." Bring your reader along with the narrator. Both should be a little skeptical until the horror (or whatever it's going to be) gradually overwhelms them.

    Also beware of a couple of punctuation/usage groaners:

    "But no one is safe from the Orwada’s"

    "Then you would see someone sitting outside, they knew that it was too late for them."

    The sentence above contains a splice comma (aka a comma splice). A conjunction is required after "outside," ("and" would be fine). Technically you could just replace the comma with a semicolon, but I would suggest using the conjunction.

    There are other grammer issues here and there, too.

    "Galiche Orwada’s is what they’re called. A term from the Tormenian tongue, a language that has long been extinct."

    There is another 's-type pluralization error in the first sentence, and the he second sentence needs a main clause. You could fix that by combining the sentences. I would suggest something like: "Old people call them Galiche Orwada: a term from the long-extinct Tormenian tongue."

    There may be more such issues. Proofreading is your job, not mine.

    Anyway, it's a nice start. I hope you keep on with it. I'm curious to see where it goes.
    Last edited by Pompey Bum; 06-23-2015 at 08:39 PM.
    And this from a man in a bunny suit.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pompey Bum View Post
    Hello Senna, welcome to the site. The part of the story you've written is compelling enough for a reader to want to hear more, but it would have been more effective if the narrator hadn't been such a believer from the start. Rather than trying to convince the reader, the narrator could show some skepticism or at least objectivity (which is what will be going on in the reader's mind). "My mother used to warn me...some claimed...but others said it was just...one time a stranger with haunted eyes told me [and tell the whole story of the encounter]...I didn't believe it of course...but one day my life brought me to the forest..." Bring your reader along with the narrator. Both should be a little skeptical until the horror (or whatever it's going to be) gradually overwhelms them.

    Also beware of a couple of punctuation/usage groaners:

    "But no one is safe from the Orwada’s"

    "Then you would see someone sitting outside, they knew that it was too late for them."

    The sentence above also contains a splice comma (aka a comma splice). A conjunction is required after "outside," ("and" would be fine). Technically you could just replace the comma with a semicolon, but I would suggest using the conjunction.

    There are other grammer issues here and there, too.

    "Galiche Orwada’s is what they’re called. A term from the Tormenian tongue, a language that has long been extinct."

    The second sentence needs a main clause. You could fix it by combining the sentences. I would suggest something like: "Old people call them Galiche Orwada: a term from the long-extinct Tormenian tongue."

    There may be more such issues. Proofreading is your job, not mine.

    Anyway, it's a nice start. I hope you keep on with it. I'm curious to see where it goes.
    Thank you so much for the feedback! That really helped, I appreciate it
    And you're probably right, I was wondering if I had made the narrator a bit too unrealistic. So it's probably best to make him less of a believer in this section.
    I'll have to reread it a few times for the grammar too, thanks for pointing it out!
    Thanks again! I'm glad you think it's a good start

  4. #4
    The Gnu Normal Pompey Bum's Avatar
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    You're welcome. The believability of the narrator would also be enhanced by some characterization and background. He's a guy? I didn't know that. What is he like? How can you show it by the things he says and does (without whacking the reader over the head with it)? Also, where is story set? There's no Tormenian language really, is there? What sort of thing did you have in mind with that? And doesn't the forest seems a little too convenient? Your narrator can't just stroll into a haunted forest without your placing it within the geography of the setting first. Do people live in the forest? Are there businesses there? If not, why is it so remote? And why do you want to put the spooks in a forest? Why not in abandoned buildings or near an old quarry? I'm not saying your setting shouldn't be a forest, but you should make sure that is really what you want. What is the scariest place you can think of for the action to unfold?

    I hope that's helpful too. It sounds like it's going to be a fun story.
    Last edited by Pompey Bum; 06-23-2015 at 06:49 PM.
    And this from a man in a bunny suit.

  5. #5
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    Oh yeah I see. Yeah I wasn't sure how I could show that, but then I figured that maybe it wasn't that important to make it clear in the intro? As for the setting, I chose a forest not because I think it's very scary but I thought that would be the most suitable place for these fairy-like demons. They carry flowers in their hair and I was thinking I could describe them as something similar to elves. And it probably depends on the background of the reader. For me it's pretty normal to live near a (small) forest, I live in the Netherlands and we have a lot of trees. But you're right, it's not something that's that common everywhere so I think it's best to specify the setting more. And yes I made that Tormenian thing up, but I was thinking of setting the story in a non-existant country, but probably somewhere in Europe. And maybe I can also specify what the town looks like, because what I had in mind was a small town where the people are very close.
    Yes thank you, that was also very helpful!

  6. #6
    The Gnu Normal Pompey Bum's Avatar
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    Well, it's familiar enough to say that fairies belong in forests, but good writing often tries to challenge conventional expectations. How can you make these fairy demons your own (as opposed to just what everyone's expecting)? What if forest fairies had been taking over remote houses in the forest, killing or enslaving the human owners, and were now expanding to houses on the forest's edge? That's just one suggestion (I made it up this instant), but you may have any number of your own ideas about how to keep a familiar motif fresh and to put a scary edge on it.

    Good luck with it in any case. If you post more (and I hope you do), you should put in in the Short Story Sharing forum. It's cool that you live in the Netherlands, by the way.
    Last edited by Pompey Bum; 06-26-2015 at 05:25 PM.
    And this from a man in a bunny suit.

  7. #7
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    Yeah I understand what you mean. I'm still thinking about it, I wrote this one morning because I got the idea but of course a lot can still be done with it. I'll try my best and I'm hoping I can keep it going (:
    Oh I didn't know that forum existed, but that's good to know so thanks! Haha yeah it's pretty nice here
    Anyway, thanks for all the feedback, it really helped!

  8. #8
    The Gnu Normal Pompey Bum's Avatar
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    You're welcome, Senna.
    And this from a man in a bunny suit.

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