Anyone Want to Help Me Out a Bit? Please? - Page 2 - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-11-2012, 01:42 PM
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IMHO, it was perfect. Yes, one sentence was long, but if you cut it up, the meaning gets lost. I was just afraid I was going to "see" them all get killed!

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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-11-2012, 10:50 PM
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This was a great story! You definitely have talent and I know I would buy this book, should you decide to expand on this story/characters.
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-12-2012, 07:06 AM
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Truly excellent, Agnes. The sentence in question is correctly punctuated and very powerful. Including sentences of various lengths is considered good technique.

There is another longish sentence which can benefit from a comma or two, but I'll leave that up to you

There is a scattering of what I would call "beginner's errors," but it's up to your instructor to find those.

I admire good punctuation and spelling which you display throughout.

It's a much better story than I could write right now. I like it a lot.
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-12-2012, 07:46 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much everyone!
I always used to abuse commas when I was younger, so I'm probably over-compensating now by not putting in enough. xD But I'm really glad you liked it. In the past, I've been told by a professor that I don't know how to punctuate a sentence, so I'm really relieved that you find my punctuation and spelling to be generally good.

I'd like to expand on it, but I'd need to do a lot more research first. I know enough about the June rebellions to write about that specific event, but I don't think I know quite enough about the time period as a whole to write a more lengthy piece. If I did, though, it would probably span a few years so I could fit in the July rebellions that this particular attempt at revolution was trying to undo. I couldn't find anywhere to fit it into this piece due to the length requirement, but I kind of had it in mind that Etienne's father was killed by the revolutionaries during the July rebellion.

But, yeah... I'd have to do more research on day to day life during the time period before writing anything longer, so I'm probably not going to expand on it too much just yet. Eventually, though, I would like to revisit these characters.

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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-12-2012, 09:32 AM
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I thought it was well written. You were able to show the deep friendship of the characters, even though the piece was very short.

I've always had people praise my writing and have been published in seven poetry books, but I have a huge problem with the actual grammar rules. Although I always use everything correctly, I have never been able to pick out the different parts of a sentence. I just can't remember things like participles, adverbs, prepositions and pronouns. Stuff like that has never stuck in my brain when they taught it to me in school. The thing I've always been able to do best is spelling. I can spell almost anything, but don't ask me to pick out the pronoun I used in a sentence!

I'm a comma abuser as well. If I don't learn to stop doing it, all those abused commas are eventually going to call the cops and have me arrested!!!

Sorry about my weirdness! I think you wrote a very good piece. I hope your professor gives you the awesome grade you deserve.
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post #16 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-15-2012, 10:02 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for the feedback! My class didn't completely kill me, so I was happy. My professor made a few suggestions to change some things, but I expected that much. Nothing's ever going to be perfect. But now I'm stressing about my next assignment! This one's been through about a million revisions as well, but I'm still not sure about it. So... Thoughts on this one, please?

The guidelines here were:
It has to be a scene in a diner
It must be 1st person
There must be two characters aside from the narrator (I figure Kelly counts even though her part's pretty minimal)
It must be under 3 pages
It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s…?
Even though it was my idea, I wasn’t too thrilled by the thought of lunch with Jean-Claude. It wasn’t that I had much of a problem with him or anything. I mean, I barely knew the guy. But it was perfectly clear that he didhave a big problem with me. What little I did know about him had been divulged in a conversation during which he looked like he would have been much happier if he’d been throwing knives at my head instead of talking. Plus, I was sure he hadn’t appreciated the two dozen times I’d called him to get him to come. But it really was his own fault. I mean he did give me his phone number. Guess he hadn’t realized what a persistent pain in the ass I could be. Anyway, I was worried about him and I kind of felt like he was my responsibility, so I might have been a bit pushy. He would say that he absolutely, unequivocally did not need or want my concern, but I had always been stubborn and that wasn’t going to change any time soon.

Besides, regardless of his disdain for me, we were stuck with each other thanks to our vocal methods class. Basically, the sophomore voice majors—me—had to teach freshmen instrumental majors—him—how to sing all with the help of a slightly deranged professor. Usually, it was pretty standard but Jean-Claude had thrown us a bit of a curveball. He was a werewolf. Apparently one of the few that had money. I guess he also had to be quite a bit smarter than the average werewolf since he’d been accepted by the college. Once I asked him why he was bothering with school. He told me that he wanted to try something new. He was pretty old. Two hundred and something, I think he said. So I guess there couldn’t have been too many new things for him to try. But he hadn’t gone to college yet so he thought he would give it a chance. Would’ve sounded like a much better idea if I didn’t have to figure out how the hell I was supposed to give him private voice lessons when I absolutely didn’t want to be alone in a room with him or any other werewolf.. That’s why I had him meet me at the diner this time. It was well lit and there were lots of people around.

I was there for about half an hour before he arrived. At a glance, despite my concern, he seemed fine. He had on his usual, polite smile and greeted me with a pleasant, “Good afternoon.” As he looked around the diner, I knew he was appalled by the neon lights and cheap model cars. He hated diners. After greeting me, he pretty much ignored me. He turned his attention to the hostess and asked, “A table for two, please?” She seemed happy to help and found a booth for us. Jean-Claude also hated booths.

However, rather than complaining, he smiled and thanked her. I noticed there was just a single setting on the table. She apologized as though it was an oversight, however the one she brought over and placed in front of Jean-Claude had a phone number written in the corner above the name “Kelly”. He was one of those people with a sort of natural charm—something I was told I had none of. He ignored the number and asked, “Would you like to tell me why you thought it would be a good idea to call my house twenty seven times this morning?” His tone was pleasant enough, but his smile was strained. If even I was able to catch it, he was in a very bad mood. I looked around the room. Good. There were lots of witnesses.

“I was concerned. A lot of people were, actually. I mean, of all the classes you could’ve run out of you pick Dr. Densley’s vocal methods class? You know she’s nuts about that stuff.” Once you were in Dr. Densley’s vocal methods class, you did not miss class. And you did not leave. Unless you were dying you arrived on time to every class and waited to use the bathroom, get a drink, make a phone call, or whatever else you may have wanted to do until the class was dismissed. By her, not the clock.

“I do not like being touched.”

“She was just trying to—”

“What she was trying to demonstrate is unimportant. I do not consider grabbing my hair, especially without warning, a valid method of instruction. Given the amount of money I am paying to attend classes I expect to be treated with some modicum of respect.” I wanted to tell him that she would leave his hair alone if he’d just get his head back on his shoulders when he sang, but I figured that wouldn’t get me anywhere. Especially since that was much easier said than done. But hair grabbing was just part of Dr. D’s style. As far as she was concerned, if you weren’t absolutely terrified of her she was doing something wrong.

“Maybe if you explain—”

“It should not have been an issue in the first place. And then throwing something at me when I returned?” His voice rose in pitch just a little and there was a hint of something beyond simple indignation in his eyes. I scrutinized him for a moment. Had he actually been scared? I figured it wasn’t completely implausible. He was terrified of me when he found out Dr. D told me he was a werewolf.. And let’s face it, I’m much more harmless than Dr. Densley.

But, still, I shrugged. “It was just a stuffed hamster. He gets thrown at everyone sooner or later.” Super Hamster was Dr. Densley’s most notorious partner in crime. She lobbed him at students for just about anything—not being relaxed enough while singing, not appearing to be paying close enough attention, leaving the room, etc.

Apparently, that was the wrong thing to say. He said sharply, “That does not make it acceptable.” His voice became dangerously quiet as he continued, “I did not come here to be lectured about how unreasonable you believe I have been. Being grabbed and having projectiles of any sort launched at my head brings back memories I have no desire to relive. I owe you no further explanation so do not bother asking. Now. Since I do not wish to hear any further justification for her behavior, I am going to leave. I will leave you enough money to order anything you like so long as you promise to leave me alone.” He opened his wallet and set a fifty dollar bill—way more than what I’d need for food at a cheap diner—on the table and stalked away before I had a chance to say anything else.

I groaned. Clearly, he was just ornery and unpredictable as any other werewolf. But if I couldn’t seem to open my mouth without offending him, how the hell was I supposed to get to know him well enough to teach him? Maybe enough encounters with Dr. D would convince him to tolerate me as long as I could teach him to sing well enough to keep her from breathing down his neck… Super Hamster to the rescue?

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post #17 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-15-2012, 11:51 PM
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*applauds* Another nice story, Anges! It was a surprise when you revealed that Jean-Claude was a werewolf. You're going to have to compile a book of short stories. I think you have some real talent for writing. Keep up the good work!!!
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post #18 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-16-2012, 09:40 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks. These are actually characters from a novel I've been working on but I've gotten a bit stuck. I've been wanting to write a conversation in a diner with these characters for a while and since the novel's been mainly focusing on Jean-Claude's perspective I thought having the other character be the first person narrator would be interesting.
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