Critique Group – Beyond the Demons Control and Dawn

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Let’s stoke the fires! It’s time to thaw our frozen brains and spread some warmth on two new submissions.

Don’t forget the critiquing guidelines. All you have to do is post a comment about the submissions below. Don’t feel like you need to critique both or the whole piece of either one. Even a short comment on one aspect can be helpful. When you critique, be sure to mention which piece you’re critiquing.

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Submission #1 – Beyond the Demons Control by Leah

Chapter 1 – Jay

I trekked on through the forest, stretching my ears to keep alert. Dawn was coming, I could feel it. Grow up in the forest and maybe you could also tell. I can smell the morning dew, hear the animals awakening from their slumber and the birds calling, and, the most subtle change of all, a slight 1 degree change in temperature. I can feel the change in climate, my skin gets a crawling feeling if it turned colder, and I get comforting tingle in my arm when its warmer. I just grew up that way.

I looked around, pausing in a small clearing to admire the woods. This is the place I had grown up, this is my forest. It’s was my home. I don’t know any different, really. I haven’t even gone to what some people call ‘school’. Does anyone know exactly what that is?

It’s quiet and peaceful, sure, that could be good sometimes. Especially when I needed time to think. But occasionally I wish I had someone to talk to (I have my cat, but he doesn’t exactly count). I haven’t had people around since… my parents.

I shook my head. I couldn’t get started on that subject or else it would take me awhile to get out that spinning dark pit of sadness and regret. I kept on walking, sliding my hands into my pockets as I went.

I’m what is called a ‘furry’, half human, half wolf. I have white ears and a white tail with a black tip.

I watched as the morning fog set in, floating around. I sniffed the air, my senses being overtaken by the morning dew. I was out taking a breather from my dream last night. Usually I live in a tent with my pet cat, Sky. I’ve grown up with him, so its usually easy to tell what he wants. When I had left the tent he had looked up at me, meowing. I knew he didn’t want me to go, but at that time I didn’t exactly know why.

I pushed a branch out of my way, coming across an old clearing. I remembered playing with this clearing, I was around five when I had been playing with… Odd, I can’t remember who. Probably just my parents.

Suddenly I heard a cry ring out and I perked my ears. I turned around to run to the cry, but a sharp pain in my side stopped me. Pain washed over me, and I thought it was just a muscle spasm. However I soon realized it was too painful to be just a spasm, and it was lasting way too long.

Now, I know you can’t experience the pain or panic I was feeling unless of course its happened to you, as well. And if it has, I’m very sorry.

The pain was like a million shards flying into your body, or wolves tackling you and clawing at your side, only a dozen times worse.

Finally I couldn’t stand up anymore, and my legs failed me. I hit the ground with an unsatisfying thump. I looked up weakly, holding my side in pain. I took in a shuddering breath, though I was barely able to do so. A man was standing up in front of me, a black hood covering his face, though I could get a glance of dark brown hair.

He stared at me, holding a bloody dagger. “The deed is done.” he growled, walking off.

I wanted to cry out, I wanted to yell at him, I wanted to see who the man was. But my strength was leaving me faster and faster, and my voice wouldn’t cooperate. I just had time to take in one last painful breath and think, This is it. I’m going to die here, alone.

Then I blacked out.

When I woke up I was looking up at a girl with long brown hair with a purple stripe through it. She jumped back a bit, as if I had startled her by opening my eyes.

“H-hi.” she stammered and I stared at her, trying to figure out who she was. She definitely wasn’t a mortal, I knew that much.

“Hi…” I replied. I shifted my position so that I could sit up a bit easier. I felt something pressing against my side and, looking down, I saw a long white bandage wrapped around my stomach, side, and back. I blinked, a bit confused.

“I saw you laying there, so I sort of bandaged you up so you wouldn’t lose any more blood.” she explained. I numbly nodded in response. I could tell she was a bit nervous because she twirled a piece of her hair around her finger.

“Thanks…” I got up, my hair shifting in front of my face. I pushed it back to the side. I adjusted my hoodie so it covered up more of my face. To be honest I didn’t really know what to make of this girl. I wondered if I could trust her, I mean, she did help me, but there was something weird about her. I just couldn’t put my finger on it. I put my hands in my pockets then pulled myself out of my own thoughts to look at the girl.

“I’m Silver.” she introduced herself and held out her hand. I thought for a second then shook it, “I’m Jay.” Guess I could trust her with my name. Not like she could use it against me or anything.

I blinked, “Um… You alright?” I asked, her face and shoulders suddenly tensing.

“Fine.” she replied, letting her shoulders relax again. “So, what were you doing all the way out here?” she asked, and I could tell she was a bit anxious to get off the subject of why she suddenly tensed.

I just simply shrugged and she blinked. “Alright then… Um, do you have a place to live?”

I stared at her then took in a breath, nodding only slightly. My thoughts wandered off to Sky, and I figured he’d want to meet her.

“Wanna see?

 

Submission #2 – Dawn by Hannah

            “Don’t forget I’m picking Ray up before I come, so I’ll be a bit late. Probably more like 6:00 instead of 5:30.” Chris texted. I have to smile a little. How many times do I have to tell him that he doesn’t have to use correct grammar and spelling in texts? I push the cart towards the exit of Wal-Mart and stop for a second to put my coat on, trying to think of some reply that doesn’t require total spelling in all of the words. Some reply that would drive Mr. Grammar-Freak insane. Finally I reply, “ill b waiting 4 u”. I can imagine him raising his eyebrows at my message, completely bothered by the lack of punctuation and capitalization.
Snow flutters down softly, but I can tell it is going to get heavier. Those clouds coming from the mountains look ready to burst. I hope it doesn’t interfere with the date. It’s getting dark and I hurry to get home. I need to get ready before he’s supposed to pick me up in an hour-ish.

It takes me that full hour to get ready, and I’m rushing to finish doing my hair when six o’ clock rolls around. I expect any minute for the doorbell to ring and Mom calling up the stairs that Chris is here. Then I’d yell down that I wasn’t quite ready yet and Chris would come upstairs and lean against the bathroom door, watching me, unnerving me. He’d claim that he liked watching me doing my hair, like he did last time I wasn’t ready when he picked me up. But the doorbell stays silent for a couple minutes, and I finish my hair in peace. I go downstairs to wait on the couch and check my email while I wait. Six thirty rolls around and I’m starting to wonder if he told me the wrong time. I try to call him, but I get the voice mail. Then, I try his house and his mom picks up.

“Hello?”

“Mrs. Sanchez? This is Aura. Do you know where Chris is?”

“No. Isn’t he there?” She sounds concerned.

“No, he’s not. I thought that maybe you might know where he is. Is he running late?”

“No, he left the house on time. Did you call him?” My stomach begins to sink.

“Yeah. He didn’t pick up.”

“I’ll try and figure out where he is.”

“Well, call me if you hear anything, ‘kay?”

“Okay, you do the same, honey.”

I try dialing Adam’s number before I remember that he does his hours with the ambulance on Friday nights. I hang up the phone and go to the door, watching the snow come down thickly. Maybe it’s just this storm that’s slowing him down. But he would have called me if he was going to be late, right? I finally slip on my coat and sit on the porch, watching for him. Every minute that passes increases my anxiety. The phone rings inside and I jump. How long have I been sitting here? I rush in and snatch it up. “Hello?”

“Aura?” Adam’s voice answers and there’s a lot of noise behind him. Is his voice trembling or is it my imagination?

“Yeah, it’s me. Is something wrong?”

“Um…yeah…there’s been an…accident.”

“And…” I prod, my pulse quickening, my voice quavering a little. If anything happened to either of them…

“Chris got hurt. You…you might want to come to the hospital. He…he doesn’t have much time left.” His voice breaks a little.

He might as well as stabbed me. “You…you’re joking, right?” I ask, attempting a laugh. “This is one of Chris’s jokes, right?” If I’m honest with myself, I know Chris would never play a joke like that, but I can’t help but hope. But then again, there was that one time when he texted me that he was in the hospital and then his phone had died so he didn’t reply to any of my messages and I had freaked out.

He gives a sorry attempt at a laugh. “I wish. You really need to get here…be…before it’s too late.”

My throat clogs. “I’ll…I’ll be right down. How bad is it? What happened?”

“Just come to the hospital. I’ll meet you in the front lobby. I’ll explain everything when you get here.”

“Okay, what about Ray? Is he okay?” At least let my brother be okay. If something happened to both of them…

“He’s a little shaken up, but he’s fine.” Relief overpowers the fear for a second. At least I won’t be losing both of them tonight.

“’Kay. I’m on my way.”

Mom calls after me, reminding me of my 10:30 curfew as I race out the door. The car doesn’t start when I turn the key, just rumbles a bit and then dies again. Of all the times. I shove it forward again, praying that it will start. I’m going to miss seeing him all because of this stupid car. Frustrated, panicky tears rise up in me as it rattles but I keep the key cranked and finally it hesitates to life. Snow patters against the windshield as I back out of the driveway, trying desperately not to give into the fear. I go way faster then I should for the weather.

My heart feels like an anvil. ‘There’s been an accident. He doesn’t have much time…before it’s too late.’ Chris is dying. I blink tears out of my eyes and when I stop at a red light, it all breaks out. I can’t help it. I collapse my head on the steering wheel and sob.

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  1. Submission #1 – Beyond the Demons Control by Leah

    Leah,

    I enjoyed your imagination. The story is intriguing and raises a lot of questions. Good job.

    The main issue I have is a lack of purpose and motivation. Why is Jay out in the forest? What is he (she?) doing there? (By the way, Jay is a name for either a boy or a girl, so I never figured out Jay’s gender.)

    It’s always helpful to provide a purpose for the opening scene. Give Jay a goal, even if it’s just hunting for food. It helps the story move forward, something for readers to watch in progress instead of a character just wandering around.

    Watch for ambiguous verbs. Is “trekked” walking? Running? Use something specific that provides a visual.

    Watch for punctuation errors. “Dawn was coming, I could feel it.” These are two sentences, so put a period after “coming” instead of a comma. “This is the place I had grown up, this is my forest.” Again, two sentences. Use a period. You do this a few more times later on. Look for those instances.

    Watch for tense changes—“if it turned colder” versus “when its warmer.” The first is past tense. The second is present. (Also, you need an apostrophe for “it’s.” You make this mistake in other places.) Such tense changes seem to occur pretty often:

    I looked around – Past tense

    This is the place – Present tense

    It’s was my home – Both tenses, apparently a typographical error

    I don’t know any different – Present tense

    I shook my head – Past tense

    Pick a tense and stick with it. I prefer past tense, but that’s up to you.

    Watch for missing words – “it would take me awhile to get out that spinning dark pit” This is missing “of.” Also, in this case, you need two words “a while.” “Awhile” can be one word, but only if it can be replaced with “for a while.”

    Watch for lines that pop up without motivation – “I’m what is called a ‘furry’, half human, half wolf. I have white ears and a white tail with a black tip.”

    Why did the character suddenly think this? Who asked for this information? There is no transition or motivation for that paragraph.

    Also, if you want to provide this information, maybe you should tell which half is human and which half is wolf. Since this creature has wolf ears and a tail, I couldn’t tell what was what. Since it also has pockets, I assume it wears pants. This combination of details makes picturing this creature quite difficult.

    Next: “I was out taking a breather from my dream last night.”

    “A breather” usually indicates a rest from a difficult task. Was the dream difficult? If so, why?

    Next: “Usually I live in a tent with my pet cat, Sky.”

    Usually? Does that mean that sometimes Jay doesn’t live with Sky? Does Sky sometimes leave, or does Jay sometimes leave? Or is it the tent that is temporary, and sometimes Jay lives elsewhere? This is confusing. Also, why did you bring up this information. I saw no motivation or transition.

    Next: “at that time I didn’t exactly know why.”

    Did Jay find out the reason later? “At that time” implies that Jay did find out later.

    Next: “I remembered playing with this clearing.”

    How does a person play with a clearing?

    Next: “I turned around to run to the cry.”

    Why would Jay run to the cry without knowing what the cry was for?

    Next: You have a long description of the pain, but Jay never looks at the area that hurts. I think that would be the first thing Jay would do.

    Next: “a black hood covering his face, though I could get a glance of dark brown hair.”

    How could Jay see the hair if the man was wearing a hood? Also, you might mean “glimpse” instead of “glance.”

    Next: “The deed is done.” he growled, walking off.

    Replace the period after “done” with a comma. I think it would help to foreshadow this danger so the reader can feel the intensity leading up to it.

    Next: “H-hi.” she stammered and I stared at her, trying to figure out who she was. She definitely wasn’t a mortal, I knew that much.

    Replace the period after “hi” with a comma.How does Jay know she isn’t a mortal?

    Next: “I saw you laying there, so I sort of bandaged you up so you wouldn’t lose any more blood.” she explained.

    Replace the period after “blood” with a comma. I would move “she explained” before “so I sort of …” You would punctuate it like this.

    “I saw you laying there,” she explained, “so I sort of bandaged you up so you wouldn’t lose any more blood.”

    Next: I adjusted my hoodie so it covered up more of my face.

    You should mention this hoodie earlier. At this point, readers don’t know that it is covering any of Jay’s face. The hoodie also complicates your description of the half-wolf creature. It seems that with pants and a hoodie, Jay is completely covered with clothing.

    Next: I put my hands in my pockets”

    Why did Jay do this? I see no motivation.

    Next: “then pulled myself out of my own thoughts to look at the girl.”

    I thought Jay was already looking at the girl.

    Next: “I’m Silver.” she introduced herself and held out her hand.

    You don’t need “introduced herself.” That’s already clear from what she said. Write it this way:

    “I’m Silver.” She held out her hand.

    Next: I blinked, “Um… You alright?” I asked, her face and shoulders suddenly tensing.

    This makes it sound like her face and shoulders tensed while Jay asked the question. Show her tensing first. That would motivate the question and put the events in their proper order. Also, you should have two words – “all right.”

    Next: “Fine.” she replied, letting her shoulders relax again. “So, what were you doing all the way out here?” she asked, and I could tell she was a bit anxious to get off the subject of why she suddenly tensed.

    I would delete everything after the question. Let the readers figure that part out.

    Next: I just simply shrugged and she blinked. “Alright then… Um, do you have a place to live?”

    Who asked this question? It’s not clear until the next paragraph. Again, it’s tow words – all right.

    Next: I stared at her then took in a breath, nodding only slightly. My thoughts wandered off to Sky, and I figured he’d want to meet her. “Wanna see?

    I was hoping to get some kind of description of where Jay woke up. Was it in the same place Jay was attacked? If so, why didn’t Jay mention the potential danger? Why didn’t the attacker make sure Jay was dead, if, indeed, he intended to kill Jay? Why didn’t Jay wonder anything about the attack after awakening? I think thoughts about the attack would dominate Jay’s mind. Instead, Jay doesn’t think about it at all. That seems odd to me.

    As you write the story, try to put yourself in Jay’s mind. What should Jay think? How would Jay react, given the circumstances?

    Keep writing, Leah!

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  2. Submission #2 – Dawn by Hannah

    Hannah, you have a good ability to show anxiety in your focal character. I’m sure readers will feel the emotions Aura displays. Good job.

    Your prose is quite clean, so I have only a few comments.

    First, I am not fond of present tense narrative, but I’ll try not to let that get in the way. 🙂

    You do need, however, to be consistent. Your first narrative verb is past tense (texted), then you switched to present for the rest of the piece. If you want to use present tense, do so throughout.

    The beginning confused me at first since it began with italicized text. Usually that indicates a quoted thought. I would show Aura looking with the phone before the text so it will be clear that the italicized text is being read from the screen.

    Since you don’t set the scene before the reading of the phone, “the cart” makes it sound like readers should already be aware of the cart. I would set it up in the first sentence and give Aura a purpose for being at the store, maybe to get Chris a treat, like his favorite pie. Something like this:

    I rolled my shopping cart along the Walmart bakery aisle, searching for the perfect pie. Let’s see … blueberry … cherry … Ah! Chocolate. Chris’s favorite. My phone beeped. I pulled the cart to a stop, tapped on the phone’s message icon, and read the screen. Don’t forget I’m …

    Yes, I used past tense. It’s hard to make myself use present. 🙂

    It’s important to show the character in motion toward a goal, no matter how trivial.

    Next: Snow flutters down softly, but I can tell it is going to get heavier. Those clouds coming from the mountains look ready to burst.

    How can this be? She is still inside the store. You wrote that she pushed the cart toward the exit and stopped to put her coat on. There is no indication that she ever got to the exit.

    Next: It takes me that full hour to get ready, and I’m rushing to finish doing my hair when six o’ clock rolls around.

    It seems that she is still at Walmart. I think you should have a quick transition paragraph that shows her driving home, which would foreshadow that she’s old enough to drive.

    Next: But the doorbell stays silent for a couple minutes, and I finish my hair in peace.

    This seems to indicate that it was making noise other than during the couple of minutes. I would delete “for a couple minutes.” If you leave it, add “of” to make “couple of minutes.”

    Next: I go downstairs to wait on the couch and check my email while I wait.

    Did she sit on the couch? “Go downstairs to wait on the couch” indicates why she went downstairs, but it doesn’t actually state that she went to the couch. What is at the couch that allows her to check her email? Does she check it on her phone? I would also delete “while I wait.” You already indicated waiting.

    Next: I try dialing Adam’s number before I remember that he does his hours with the ambulance on Friday nights.

    What relationship does Aura have with Adam? Why might Adam know what’s up with Chris?

    Next: I finally slip on my coat and sit on the porch, watching for him.

    Why did she do this if she could see outside from the door? This action adds no benefit, and she will just get cold.

    Next: The phone rings inside and I jump. How long have I been sitting here? I rush in and snatch it up. “Hello?”

    Is this Aura’s mobile phone? If so, why wasn’t she carrying it with her? If not, why did Adam call the home phone instead of Aura’s?

    Next: He might as well as stabbed me.

    I’m not sure what that sentence means.

    Next: “Okay, what about Ray? Is he okay?” At least let my brother be okay. If something happened to both of them…

    This is the first mention that Ray is Aura’s brother. Maybe insert that information earlier and why Chris and Ray would be together.

    Next: Mom calls after me, reminding me of my 10:30 curfew as I race out the door.

    Wouldn’t Aura stop to tell her mother what’s going on? Wouldn’t Aura mention that she is rushing out with the car instead of going with Chris? Saying nothing to her isn’t believable.

    Next: I shove it forward again, praying that it will start.

    Shove what forward? The key? Wasn’t it already in the ignition?

    Next: Frustrated, panicky tears rise up in me as it rattles but I keep the key cranked and finally it hesitates to life.

    What is frustrated? The tears? Since “tears” is your subject, you are indicating that the tears are frustrated.

    Next: Snow patters against the windshield as I back out of the driveway, trying desperately not to give into the fear.

    The backing out is the first action, so you should put that first in your sentence: Trying desperately not to give into fear, I back out of the driveway, snow pattering against the windshield.

    Next: I go way faster then I should for the weather.

    Maybe indicate spinning wheels, a slide on pavement, or something that shows going too fast.

    You’ve done a good job, Hannah. Just add more visuals here and there to set the scene a bit more, and make sure the characters have reasons for their actions. Pretend you’re inside Aura’s head and walk through each step of the scene. Let the readers know what she sees, hears, smells, and thinks. This will help the action come alive.

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  3. Submission one:
    Nice opening. I like how you give us a picture of where your main character is.
    Suggestion: “My skin gets a crawling feeling . . . I get comforting tingle in my arm.” For one thing, you’re missing an “a” in the second part of that sentence. For another, I would look for another way to say it than “I get x”. For example, the second part could be “And a comforting tingle soothes my arm when the temperature rises.”
    Suggestion “It’s was my home.” I’m guessing this was a typo- do you want “It was my home” or “It’s my home”?
    Suggestion: I don’t think that being stabbed in the side would feel much like a muscle spasm. I also think that your character would’ve fallen a bit sooner than he actually did.
    Suggestion: I blinked, “Um… You alright?” I asked, her face and shoulders suddenly tensing.”
    I can’t remember grammatical terms at the moment, but if you’re going to have an -ing phrase like this (“face and shoulders suddenly tensing”), it should refer to the same subject as the rest of the sentence. Maybe revise as:
    “Silver’s face and shoulders suddenly tensed. I blinked. “Um . . . you alright?””
    Suggestion: ““Fine.” she replied, letting her shoulders relax again. “So, what were you doing all the way out here?” she asked, and I could tell she was a bit anxious to get off the subject of why she suddenly tensed.”
    First of all, I would modify this so you don’t have “she replied” and “she asked” in the same paragraph. Second, the second sentence seems really long. Maybe revise the paragraph like this:
    “‘Fine,’ she replied, allowing her shoulders to relax again. ‘So what were you doing all the way out here?’ She fidgeted, obviously anxious to get away from the subject of her odd behavior.”
    Overall thoughts: You have some good concepts in this piece- the half-human, half-animal main character, the mysterious person trying to kill him, the new girl, the main character living out on his own. However, I noticed that you seem to switch between tenses a lot, particularly in the beginning, which you should fix.

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  4. Leah,

    First off; I love it! I really like the feel of your story and your character Jay, and the fact that he seems to have a bit of wolf (I love wolves).

    A few things I might change is:

    Maybe save the bit about his parents for a little later? It works not to badly where it is and there is no info dumping (yea!), but it might work a little better if you saved it for later or something and left people guessing.
    When Jay is stabbed, he would not be monologueing about whether we (the reader) would know about what the experience would be like, he would probably just be in agony.
    As a reader I would love to find out sometime in the book if Jay has any other wolf-like characteristics, they are really cool ( I was a bit unsure if you were making him have a heightened sense of smell or not).

    Keep up the good work!

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  5. Leah,
    I really liked your piece. A wolf-human hybrid [that’s not a were-wolf] sounds so cool! However, it was hard for me to imagine him. When you said he was a furry and had a tail, my brain immediately imagined him entirely covered in fur with a wolf’s head and no clothes. Later in the piece you mention he has a hoodie. My brain puts the clothes on him. And when you mentioned he brushed his hair out of his face I wondered, “Okay, does he have a human face, but if so, does he have regular human skin and furry wolf ears, or …” My brain got confused.

    I really like the idea, but maybe you should describe him as he’s walking through the forest to have the hoodie and pants on, and or whether his wolf’s muzzle sticks out of his hood [or have holes cut in his hood for his ears to stick out 🙂 ], or something to give the reader’s mind a better idea of what to imagine.

    With the stabbing scene, I would have thought he’d look down to see what had hurt him. When you said he clutched his side I was expecting him to feel the weapon that had injured him. When it didn’t say, I didn’t know what to expect. It was only until the man with the dagger appeared that it became clear. If the man had stabbed him though, did he throw the dagger? Did he sneak up on him? But wouldn’t Jay have smelled him with his wolf senses? And if Jay clutched the wound and the dagger wasn’t there, that means the man would’ve had to pull it out (if he threw it), but he wasn’t there until after Jay collapsed and … I was a tad confused.

    You did have the scream, but wouldn’t there have been another warning: like a twig snapping behind/beside him, or a foreign scent in the air, or something to give him a sense of something’s wrong? And when he’s stabbed, maybe you could just describe the feeling of a million shards of glass / a pack of wolves clawing at you instead of thinking it’s a muscle spasm. Describing the sudden pain without a preface. And if he does look down at the wound, maybe you could describe his hoddie as having a gash in it with a red stain seeping into the fabric, or something like that. And/or maybe describe the man’s appearance if he sneaks up on Jay, plunges the knife in and immediately pulls it back out. Otherwise it’s a little difficult for me to see/understand what happened.

    Overall, very intriguing and my interest is piqued. 🙂

    {P.S. Is the reference to “demon” in the title referring to the Japanese demons who shift between dog and man? [I’ve only heard a reference to them once, so I have minimal knowledge on the subject, but I was curious if that was the case.]}

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    • Thanks! This is Leah, btw. Idk if I can reply to these or what. But… Lets gonna pretend this is possible……
      The thing is Jay can’t see his appearance, and so sorry, I am adding in that he has no wolf snout, he is a normal human with just a wolf ear and tail ^_^

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      • Oh, okay! ^.=.^
        Just curious, how do furry ears and tail transition to human flesh? Wouldn’t they look a little funny [the ears at least]? 😉

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        • Well, he has no hair around his body, but the ear and tail are just normal wolf ears+the tail. They don’t have human skin on them :p that really would be weird… O_o the only wolf traits he has in his human form are his sharp teeth, every single one of them sharpened to the point, then he has a wolf tail (normal, no skin) and same with the ears.
          Ye, I’ma fix that. The thing is in Chapter 2 you get to know what he looks like a lot better because it comes from the P.O.V of Silver when she finds him and all that, so I’ll describe him a lot better in that, too.

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  6. Hannah-great story. I especially loved the cliffhanger at the end. I have just a few things to add. First of all, a question. I’m just making sure, but is Chris Aura’s boyfriend? Second of all, I think you need to slow down the beginning a bit. Maybe add more details. It just seems like the part where he doesn’t come is really drawn out, and where she is in the store is a quick fly-by. You could add why she was in the store, maybe an errand for her mom? Overall, though, it was a wonderful story. Hopefully I’ll get to read the rest of it!

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    • Thanks for the critique. Yes, he is her boyfriend. I need to work on introducing who everybody is. There was originally more to the beginning of the story that introduced who everyone is. The store wasn’t actually an essential part to the story, and I was considering taking it out, actually. Thank you again!

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  7. Leah, I really enjoyed your story, especially the descriptions you gave about exactly what type of creature the main character was. Quick question about the beginning of the story, since nearly the entire beginning was the characters thoughts, why did you put one random sentence of those thoughts in parentheses, it seems like it would just flow as thoughts along with the rest. Great start to your story. =)

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  8. Hannah, I think you did a great job with your story, and getting the emotion of the character tied to the reader, so that the reader would really feel for the character and the struggles and stress the character was going through. Great start to your story as well. =)

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