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Old 09-09-2012, 08:57 PM   #1 
AngesRadieux
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Anyone Want to Help Me Out a Bit? Please?

I've rewritten, revised, and edited this assignment to death. But I'm still terrified to hand it in. Anyone feel like giving it a read through and offering an opinion? I'm not asking for anyone to edit or revise it for me. I'm just looking for opinions on whether it's salvageable or not. Anyway, if anyone's willing to offer some thoughts, here it is.

The Last Beautiful Thing
The moon was a brilliant white. Though there was no time for such foolishness, he couldn’t help but stop to stare. The streets of Paris were caught up in the mania of revolution, stained red with the blood of men willing to die to make their country a better place and illuminated by the harsh light of gunfire. Yet the moon was still a pure, pristine white. It was a simple thing, something Charles had always taken for granted. But now he couldn’t imagine not stopping to notice. It was the only escape from the carnage and probably the last beautiful thing he would see in this world. Seconds later he was thrown to the ground and the spell was broken.

“Damn it, Charles! Wherever your head went, get it back here!” snarled the man who’d shoved him out of the way of a bit of the barricade that had been dislodged and just barely missed falling on them both. Charles locked eyes with the man on top of him. Etienne’s once handsome face was now covered in blood and dirt, his blonde hair matted, and his hazel eyes wild and desperate. What Charles found most disturbing was the frenzied thirst for blood apparent in his every feature. Etienne still wanted to kill… He would have preferred to die staring at the moon rather than live to see his childhood friend so terribly changed. This was not Etienne.


“Keep in mind, Etienne, that your next words may be your last,” he chided bitterly, pushing the other man off of him. Etienne ignored his rebuke and snatched up a gun, peering at the ever advancing National Guard through a hole in the barricade. Charles had only just gotten to his feet when a rifle was shoved into his hand.


“Make them bleed while we still can,” Jean insisted grimly. He was even further gone than Etienne. Of the three of them, he had always been the most gentle. How was it that the boy Charles had once mocked mercilessly for being unable to bring himself to kill a goose on a hunt was now the hate-filled man thrusting weapons at him and urging him to keep shooting as long as he had breath? Any last visions of glory Charles may have had vanished. Now, the reality of what was once a noble and righteous dream was reflected in Jean’s fiery eyes and the clothes now dyed an awful, rusty shade of red by the blood of their friends who hadn’t lasted through the day. Jean’s jaw was set and his grip on the gun firm. Though he was still alive, Charles felt as though he’d already lost his dear friend.

He put his own gun down and took hold of Jean’s. “Enough is enough. Surely you see there is no way for us to win!”



“But Felix! And… And Henri…!”


“Are dead Jean! And no amount of killing is going to bring them back!” Charles insisted. He turned to Etienne and tried to pry him away from the barricade, pleading, “Please! No more killing. Enough people have died already.” Finally, he was overcome by all that had passed in the last two days. His voice began to tremble and tears welled up in his eyes as he continued, “We are going to die here. And I know you know it! Please… If I must… If I must die… I want it to be among the friends I knew.”


His plea seemed to stir something in the other men. Etienne stepped away from the battered wood and Jean set aside the weapon. Their eyes met and they clasped hands for what would certainly be the last time. The comfort of human touch worked wonders—Etienne and Jean were back. Charles managed a smile and asked, “No regrets?” His voice was unsteady but the smile was genuine.


“Just another adventure, right?” Jean asked.


Absurdly, Etienne commented, “Only what my mother will say when she sees us so filthy.”


Charles mused, “You know, I have actually begun to miss her scolding.” For the first time in days, the three of them laughed. As they smiled, the white of their teeth stood out brilliantly against the dark backdrop.


The moon was not the last beautiful thing Charles lived to see.


The guidelines were these:
It has to take place in the middle of a crisis
There must be three characters
There must be description and dialogue
It cannot start with dialogue
It must be two pages, no more and no less
The title must not be literal

Thanks to anyone kind enough to read it and give me some opinions on it.
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Old 09-09-2012, 09:07 PM   #2 
RandyTheBettaFish
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Really good! I liked it alot.
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Old 09-09-2012, 09:23 PM   #3 
AngesRadieux
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Thanks. I'm just terrified it's going to get torn to shreds. No matter how many times I go through and edit I feel like there's still something wrong with it. And I really, really wish I could have made it longer because I feel like my characters aren't human enough. I'm also worried about my title. I don't know if she'd consider my title literal or not. *tears hair out*

THIS is why I can't pursue a career as a writer. Forget going prematurely gray, I'd end up bald from ripping all the hair out of my head!
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Old 09-10-2012, 12:53 AM   #4 
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You are multi talented! Your story is fantastic.I'm sure a lot of famous writers have written stuff that they think is awful, ripped it up and started over. If they rip your story up one side and down the other then they're being stupid.
Don't forget your forum friends when you become famous. lol
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Old 09-10-2012, 06:11 AM   #5 
RandyTheBettaFish
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+1 DQ!! Dont forget us! And they would be stupid to tear it up it was amazing.
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Old 09-10-2012, 07:38 AM   #6 
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Thanks. And forget about the forum? Nah! If I ever do become famous, you can most certainly bet I'll be posting here bragging about the awesome, gigantic tank for an arowana that I'll actually have enough space and money for. xD
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Old 09-11-2012, 07:22 AM   #7 
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I loved it! Anyone who rips that up must want you to write like shakespeare or something!
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Old 09-11-2012, 07:51 AM   #8 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngesRadieux View Post
I've rewritten, revised, and edited this assignment to death. But I'm still terrified to hand it in. Anyone feel like giving it a read through and offering an opinion? I'm not asking for anyone to edit or revise it for me. I'm just looking for opinions on whether it's salvageable or not. Anyway, if anyone's willing to offer some thoughts, here it is.


The Last Beautiful Thing


The moon was a brilliant white. Though there was no time for such foolishness, he couldn’t help but stop to stare. The streets of Paris were caught up in the mania of revolution, stained red with the blood of men willing to die to make their country a better place and illuminated by the harsh light of gunfire. Yet the moon was still a pure, pristine white. It was a simple thing, something Charles had always taken for granted. But now he couldn’t imagine not stopping to notice. It was the only escape from the carnage and probably the last beautiful thing he would see in this world. Seconds later he was thrown to the ground and the spell was broken.
It was really well written and all the requirements were met. The only thing I noticed was a run on sentence because I do the same exact thing.

The simplest fix is replacing the coma with a semi colon:
The streets of Paris were caught up in the mania of revolution; Stained red with the blood of men willing to die to make their country a better place and illuminated by the harsh light of gunfire.

A another way si to break them up into two full sentences:
The streets of Paris were caught up in the mania of revolution. Stained red with the blood of men willing to die to make their country a better place and illuminated by the harsh light of gunfire.

A third way will add some lenght without being obvious XD
The streets of Paris were caught up in the mania of revolution. Stained red with the blood of men willing to die to make their country a better place. The night was illuminated by the harsh light of their gunfire.

But I don't know if that is actually a grammatical error or a difference in our writting styles. When you have to write a 20 page paper, you learn how to say simple things in a lot of words. So, I'm going to assume we just write differently.

The the story as a whole was excellent.
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Old 09-11-2012, 12:03 PM   #9 
AngesRadieux
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Thanks everyone!
Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowySurface View Post
It was really well written and all the requirements were met. The only thing I noticed was a run on sentence because I do the same exact thing.

The simplest fix is replacing the coma with a semi colon:
The streets of Paris were caught up in the mania of revolution; Stained red with the blood of men willing to die to make their country a better place and illuminated by the harsh light of gunfire.

A another way si to break them up into two full sentences:
The streets of Paris were caught up in the mania of revolution. Stained red with the blood of men willing to die to make their country a better place and illuminated by the harsh light of gunfire.

A third way will add some lenght without being obvious XD
The streets of Paris were caught up in the mania of revolution. Stained red with the blood of men willing to die to make their country a better place. The night was illuminated by the harsh light of their gunfire.

But I don't know if that is actually a grammatical error or a difference in our writting styles. When you have to write a 20 page paper, you learn how to say simple things in a lot of words. So, I'm going to assume we just write differently.

The the story as a whole was excellent.
I actually don't think I can break it up that way. "Stained red with the blood of men willing to die to make their country a better place and illuminated by the harsh light of gunfire." is actually a fragment because there's no subject in the sentence. :/ Or, at least I think that's the case, because while it's wordy and long, that sentence is all just a descriptor for the streets of Paris? Even though the sentence is long, there's really only one subject and one action. I think...

I could be totally wrong on this and if I am please correct me. I do sometimes get grammar rules mixed up.

I think that would work if I made it "They were stained red with...etc", but the added "they were" seems out of place to me. I don't know... And I totally get what you mean when you say twenty page papers make you say things in the longest way possible. Last November, I was working on a pretty long project and in something completely unrelated I was writing about how I think a larger group of girls is more likely to get along than a very small group and I almost went on a tangent about betta sororities, because it's the same concept--the dynamic as a whole is more peaceful when there are more members because the aggression is more spread out.

But I caught myself and omitted that part before handing it in because I realized I was just used to sticking in needlessly long, convoluted, and slightly tangential explanations for simple things. xD
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Old 09-11-2012, 12:43 PM   #10 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngesRadieux View Post
Thanks everyone!

I actually don't think I can break it up that way. "Stained red with the blood of men willing to die to make their country a better place and illuminated by the harsh light of gunfire." is actually a fragment because there's no subject in the sentence. :/ Or, at least I think that's the case, because while it's wordy and long, that sentence is all just a descriptor for the streets of Paris? Even though the sentence is long, there's really only one subject and one action. I think...

I could be totally wrong on this and if I am please correct me. I do sometimes get grammar rules mixed up.

I think that would work if I made it "They were stained red with...etc", but the added "they were" seems out of place to me. I don't know... And I totally get what you mean when you say twenty page papers make you say things in the longest way possible. Last November, I was working on a pretty long project and in something completely unrelated I was writing about how I think a larger group of girls is more likely to get along than a very small group and I almost went on a tangent about betta sororities, because it's the same concept--the dynamic as a whole is more peaceful when there are more members because the aggression is more spread out.

But I caught myself and omitted that part before handing it in because I realized I was just used to sticking in needlessly long, convoluted, and slightly tangential explanations for simple things. xD
I did it again.

I have a bad habit of knowing the subject of my sentence in my head but not putting it on the paper. I'll have an image of a blood stained cobble road and write, "Stained red with the blood of...". The sentence makes perfect sense to me because I have the cobble stone road image in my head. But my audience is like, "Who, what, or where is stained? Did ketchup spill on the floor? Give us a hint!" I can't count how many times I've said or typed, "It made sense in my head..." while LARPing or online role playing (ORPing?).

I'm glad you caught it.
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