Writing Passionates discussion

Read my Story/Story Help > Constructive Critism

Comments Showing 1-14 of 14 (14 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Kyle (new)

Kyle | 10 comments Alright this is a prologue to a book I might continue writing. Tell Me What you think

Through the mists there lay a small city known as Nowhere. It had started out as a town but quickly grew into a city. Nowhere sat atop a high mountain surrounded by nothing for miles around. The only thing on the mountain, besides the city, was a great tree perched close to the summit. The city was inhabited by a group of people who called themselves Nobodies. The irony of these two names was somehow lost to the city folk, partly because the founders were long dead (it is said they passed away with smiles on their faces) but also because Nowhere had not had a visitor for over fifty years. Of course the Nobodies did not mind, they thought the outside world held to a lot of nonsense. They really didn’t know anything about the outside, but that still didn’t stop them from distrusting. The city itself was very plain, all the buildings looked exactly the same and all had the same color. Back when the beginnings of the city were being built, there was an argument as to which color it would be painted. Many wanted white and many wanted brown. So the people compromised and colored them gray. This made the city look very boring to say the least. Since they were all gray it was easy to get confused as to where your own house was. In the early days of the city it was not uncommon to find a complete stranger sitting at your table eating what he thought was his own food. Usually things of this sort were dealt with like any sensible human would. A lot of screaming, a yell to get out. Then a grunting apology followed by a quick exit. The Nobodies were a content and simple people who enjoyed a little excitement but never were ambitious. The mist surrounding them made sure they would never be bothered by the outside world and they were more than happy to returned the favor. That is to say most of them were content.
Jack Osider was one of the most spirited people to ever come out of Nowhere. Many a nobody would look at Jack, shake their head sadly and ask themselves where the parents had gone wrong. He was a trouble maker from the beginning and a good one at that. Always playing pranks on adults and children alike, he made a name for himself. Jack wasn’t the only trouble maker in the town, there were many kids who were good at causing trouble. Its just that he was prolific, simply a master at it. Jack was as much to trouble, as carpenters were to wood and masons to their stones. So it was that Jack had his own gang of troublemakers always finding ways to skip school and do other such childish things. Annoying teachers and classmates was a lifestyle for these boys. The librarian had almost resigned because the boys put up a sign in the front of the library that read: HEY READERS, EVER SEEN A GIRAFF? WELL THEN LOOK AT THE NECK ON MRS.MCGAFF.
There was a very big graveyard on the outskirts of the city, it was big due to the fact that no one ever left. Jack and his friends would egg each other on to stay the night in the graveyard. Most of the kids would say they would do it, then back out at the last minute. This had become a common tradition, for the new kid in the group to always back out. At least that was until the mayor’s son called the group a bunch of wimps for not doing it. They told him if he was so brave then he should do it. He said he would, because honestly he couldn’t have backed out even if he wanted to. That night the mayor’s boy sat in the graveyard, scared to death, barely able to breath. Suddenly out of the ground, right beside him, popped out a hand. He screamed jumping up and came face to face with a kid covered in something that looked like blood. He ran home crying about bloody ghosts and dead hands. Back at the graveyard the two living dead rolled on the ground laughing,. Then stopped, realizing they were completely alone, and got out as quickly as possible.
For Jack these kind of pranks were common and a sort of way to satisfy the restlessness inside him, but as he grew older and more mature it wasn’t enough. By the time he had turned fourteen he was ready to see the world. The energies that he had spent on pranks and mischief had suddenly become devoted to the idea of getting as far away from Nowhere as he possibly could. This is not to say that Jack still didn’t cause some form of mischief, its just that he didn’t do it directly. Instead he made his gang do whatever he told them to do. In this way he could focus on outside life and still keep his reputation as the biggest trouble maker in town (which he was very proud of for some reason). Jack was simply waiting for the day that he could leave this town. Little did he know that the summer before his sixteenth birthday would change everything.

message 2: by Alex (new)

Alex Lindon | 28 comments *Sigh* I have ZERO capability to give constructive critism, but if I could, I would. I liked it.

message 3: by Paige (new)

Paige Miller Ummm... well, truthfully, I didn't feel it was a very strong start. It kind of.. .threw the story at you, and just dumped all the facts on your head. There was no suspense, and, personally, I thought it was far too long and uneventful for a prologue.

I feel really mean for saying this!!!! I'm sorry!!!!!

message 4: by Carlos (last edited Jan 30, 2009 12:03PM) (new)

Carlos The concept is intriguing and there's the kernel of a good story in your prologue.

In my opinion, starting a novel with description is risky because modern readers have a very short attention spans. I agree with Paige aka Tink. You could craft a couple of chapters with the contents of the prologue.

Then there's a puzzling issue: If the Nobodies have had no visitors for 50 years, and know nothing of the outside world, how do they know it's full of nonsense?

On a lighter note, I would try to get rid of the many 'very' dotted through the prologue. It echoed when I read it.

Take care, (and my comments with a pinch of salt).

message 5: by Kyle (new)

Kyle | 10 comments Thank you. This is exactly what I needed. Yeah I already kind of felt like it was to long. Your right it really was nothing to special. I've written way better things than this. But I will take all of your advice.

message 6: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 49 comments I think Carlos said it. Give the backstory one part at a time while the story's taking place. I like the story idea.

message 7: by Carlos (new)

Carlos Er... just a thought. What's "critism"?

message 8: by Paige (new)

Paige Miller Daniel wrote: "Thank you. This is exactly what I needed. Yeah I already kind of felt like it was to long. Your right it really was nothing to special. I've written way better things than this. But I will take all..."

I just read my comment again and felt horrible- I am SO sorry. Please, feel free to completely ignore that.

message 9: by Veronica, What the neck!? (new)

Veronica (v_a_b) | 2889 comments Mod
One thing that you want to work on is not having it jump around quite so much. Perhaps rearrange the order that you tell things, and have smoother transitions.

message 10: by D.C. (new)

D.C. | 21 comments I think you need to write a new prologue. This one wasn't that great

message 11: by Amy (new)

Amy (kelairyy) | 137 comments I think it's an interesting idea. However, like people have said before, it is a bit too much information, and some of it is kind of pointless unless it's important later on in the story. (like the story about the hand in the graveyard). You shouldn't explain too much in the beginning; try to ease the details in at different places. Maybe find a better hook? :)

message 12: by Brigid ✩ (new)

Brigid ✩ | 5857 comments Mod
D.C. wrote: "I think you need to write a new prologue. This one wasn't that great"

lol ... ummm that's not so constructive
maybe you could say WHY you think that??

message 13: by Amy (new)

Amy (kelairyy) | 137 comments XD

message 14: by D.C. (new)

D.C. | 21 comments First of all it was joke because if you notice, he did write a new prologue

The man sat, staring off into the darkness. His body was rigid and shivering from the cold. His hands were shaking so badly he couldn’t keep them closed, and water seemed to be pouring from every part of him. He appeared calm and collected, but that was just because he was in shock. He slowly looked around to his left and right, there was nothing but blackened cold hard night. Thoughts began to trickle in and out of his mind like the many drops of water dripping down his head. He grasped for one with much difficulty and succeeded. The thought surfaced in his mind, a very simple one.

Who am I?

Then as if suddenly remembering how to ride a bicycle, he dared another question.

Where am I?

He looked around again, this time really studying his surroundings. It all came back to him in an instant. As if the two questions had been bricks in a dam, the rest of him came back in a flood of thought.

My name is Robert Benwood, I have been traveling for months on end, searching for…for what? He couldn’t remember. As he pondered this he realized something else. I really do not know where I am, and I’m soaking wet. The darkness swirled around Robert, seeming to twinkle like shattered pieces of glass. Wait a minute, I’m soaking wet and yet it doesn’t appear to be raining. This thought puzzled him the most. He then broke his train of thought. I am out in the middle of nowhere thinking about pointless things, while I slowly freeze to death.


The word frightened him. He stood to his feet and began to walk, toward where he didn’t have a clue. A terror was slowly creeping into Robert, dulling his mind and senses. It didn’t seem as if there was any way out of this place.


The word pounded in the back of his mind, he began to walk a bit faster. What was that sound? He turned his head, the darkness seemed to answer nothing. His mind answered with the word. Robert pushed his dripping hair out of his face, as if to push off the thought.

Just keep walking and you’ll end up somewhere. Where’s somewhere? I don’t know, but it’s gotta be better than here. He stopped . He could make out a figure silhouetted against the dark. Robert began to call out, “Hey! Over here!”, but stopped. Something was seriously wrong. The figure, as if to hear the unspoken words, turned to meet Robert.

It’s pale white face peered out through the empty space, a slight smile on it’s face. A sense of happiness seemed to fill Robert, but he was not fooled. There was evil in that face. The face broke into a grin. It then all became terribly clear to Robert. He knew how he come to be there, he knew what he had to do now. He took a step back, not able to take his eyes from the creature, his mouth curling into a grin without him trying. “What are you?”, Rob thought wordlessly


He kept taking steps back slowly, the happiness was almost overwhelming but Robert somehow kept his head. The figure looked at him, still grinning and answered Robert inside his own mind, in a sing songy voice.

I am the joy you feel from insanity. The chill of depression down your back. I sit at the left side of the devil. I am your destruction, your end. I am your death

Robert broke it’s gaze and ran. He ran as he had never done. There were no trees barring his way, his path seemed to go up and down depending on wherever he stepped. The word followed him effortlessly, no matter how far or fast he ran.

I have to save him! So much depends on this. I cannot die. HE cannot die!

The air was still thick with water, when Robert smashed into the wall. A long ago relic left for protection no longer needed, the wall was in ruins. It now only stood at three feet and was missing parts. Robert lay crumpled on the ground, panting hard. He tried to push himself up, but cringed as pain shot through him. Blood ran down from a gash on his forehead, mixing with the water. His leg was shattered, there was no doubt.

As he propped himself on his elbows, a tinge of happiness began to invade his mind. The word had come. Looking over the wall, he saw hope, the outline of a building maybe even a faint light. He began to crawl slowly inch by inch. He dropped over the wall and cried out as he landed on his torn leg. Through a haze of tears and slowly emerging laughter, he kept crawling toward his hope. The air was no longer choked with water but clear and breathable, but Robert did not notice he was now laughing hysterically. The figure/word stood over Rob, grinning with its black piercing eyes.

That’s right Robert give into the insanity.

The figure stooped down. He would soon touch Robert and Robert would cease to exist, sure his body would be there but there would be another inside his head, his soul gone

Light burst bright in green and red, flooding the world. Death disappeared as if made of smoke, a bad thought on a dark night. Robert’s laughter turned to crying, relieve flooded him. He dragged himself up to look at the light that had saved him. It read, flashing brightly in the letters, MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Jack and his friend Toby stood beside the sign looking pleased, they laughed at the many dumbstruck faces looking out of their windows at the sign. One called out, “You dumb asses it’s the middle of July!”. Jack and Toby just smiled broadly, as they ran away from the scene of the crime.

Robert looked at this bleak place in wonder. No one knew yet, but this was a historic moment for city of Nowhere. He was the first man to make it through the cities veil of mist in fifty years.

back to top