So this is part of a challenge I’m doing: write ficlets on 50 random words (out of a generator). I’m not gonna finish it if I keep making them so long. OTL.
Anyway, as you can probably tell, I’m doing it on NickxEllis. I kinda do loose interpretations of the words, ‘cause when I get inspired it’s not always gonna be on-topic. I thought I’d share a quick preview.
PLEASE critique my writing. PLEEEEASE.
Smooth fabric rubbed gently against his palms. The familiarity of the suit gave Ellis some comfort. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to slow the stream of warm saltwater lining his face. He pressed his face into the other’s neck, cold seeping into his skin.
How? That was the only question he dared to ask himself. His arms sagged. His moved his gaze to Nick’s still eyes, the eyes that always revealed whatever emotion his face withheld. His view traveled over a peaceful face to the man’s hair. Messy and loose, but perfect.
Ellis reached for a hand, one that dangled — dare he say it — lifelessly above the ground. He whispered a reassuring word to the body before him. Lowering the ghost inside its six foot deep cavern, Ellis choked out a short phrase he regretted never having said before.
there’s nothing wrong with this. it’s clunky as hell, but it’s technically right.
>mfw ele dosen’t know how to comma LOL
either that or i got trolled, so
Ele’s right. The “, ridiculously,” is a parenthetical phrase. Without it the sentence would be
“No,” I said, but my voice broke.
The major problem is the fact that adverbs are a plague upon writing.
True that. But at the same time, an adverb can change the meaning of a verb almost completely. Is “I laughed” anywhere near the same as “I laughed nervously?”
“Lovely night, isn’t it?” As if that’ll work.
Sherlock gave an insincere grunt of agreement, lips consecrated and eyes emotionless. He’d been like this for Godknowshowlong. It was a perpetual struggle John sustained against the other’s quirks and moods, but as the two marched through the park (yes, a long shot, but Baker Street wasn’t particularly improving his emotional state either), the doctor couldn’t help but notice something different. This was new. More serious. Not boredom nor mere disappointment — over the last few days, Sherlock had encountered a terrible depression.
What could have brought this upon him? The man’s emotional bastion could withhold nearly anything, or so John thought. (Remembering a glimpse he’d been offered of a more human Sherlock, as eloquent as it was provoking — “Genius is nothing else than an infinite capacity for taking pains” he’d sighed, staring up at the ceiling, godlike, yet tangible.)
John gave a huff of exasperation. Beating around the bush didn’t work with the world’s only consulting detective, so he’d have to be more forward. His gait came to a sudden halt, letting the other take a few steps before calling after him. “Sherlock.” He waited as the other turned. “You’re not okay.”
“What makes you say that?” replied Sherlock, voice only barely masked in that of his former self’s.
Licking his lips, a habit of his only augmented when concentrating, he moved towards the other, city streetlights at his back. John smiled up at Sherlock. “I’m your doctor. And I’ll help you if it’s the last thing I do.”
This proclamation took its effect on the taller man’s features, his face now reflecting bits of hidden guilt. “But I don’t deserve you.”
In lieu of a spoken response, John’s hand traveled to find the other’s. “Let’s go home,” he spoke, with the most sympathy and genuine care Sherlock had ever been endowed.
- Over-explanation. This includes prologues. “Prologues are never needed. You can usually throw them in the garbage. They’re usually put on as a patch.”
- Too much data. “You’re trying to seduce your reader, not burden them,” Friedman said.
- Over-writing, or “trying too hard.” “We think the more description we add, the more vivid it will be; but we don’t want to be distracted from the story” we open the book for.
- Beginning the novel with an interior monologue or reflection. Usually this is written as the thoughts of a character who is sitting alone, musing and thinking back on a story. Just start with the story.
- Beginning the novel with a flashback. Friedman isn’t entirely anti-flashback, but the novel’s opening page is the wrong place for one.
- Beginning a novel with the “waking up sequence” of a character waking, getting out of bed, putting on slippers, heading for the kitchen and coffee…a cliche
- Related cliche: beginning the novel with an alarm clock or a ringing phone
- Starting out with an “ordinary day’s routine” for the main character
- Beginning with “crisis moments” that aren’t unique: “When the doctor said ‘malignant,’ my life changed forever…” or “The day my father left us I was seven years old…”
- Don’t start with a dialogue that doesn’t have any context. Building characterization through dialogue is okay anywhere else but there.
- Starting with backstory, or “going back, then going forward.”
- Info dump. More formally called “exposition.”
- Character dump, which is four or more characters on the first page.
In other words: