Story Critique - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 04-21-2014, 11:43 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Casa Grande, Arizona
Posts: 740
• Horses: 5
Story Critique

So I was hoping to get some critiques on this story I wrote. I hope it's ok that I post it here since it's not horse related, but the only writing/story forum section I saw.

Rose was sitting on her bed working on a story that she had been working on over the last year or so. It was only 9 AM, but she had nothing better to do. She was having a hard time concentrating on the story, so she set the notebook and pen down. She leaned back against the bed's head board and let out a deep breath. Since she had nothing else to do today she figured that she might as well go check out that old abandoned mansion everyone was always talking about. The mansion supposedly had abandoned for unknown reasons. Everyone said that there was something that wasn't right about the mansion, yet no one could explain what wasn't quite right about it. It was the perfect thing for her. She loved going on adventures.

As much as she loved adventures she was reluctant to leave the warmth of her blankets, but finally stood beside the bed. She walked over to her dresser and pulled on a random pair of skinny jeans and put on a black plaid jacket. It was the beginning of November and the weather was unpredictable. Sometimes it was hot, sometimes cold, so she put the jacked on just in case. She grabbed some boots that she had borrowed from Jay, a close friend of hers whom saved her life and whom she lives with, and slid them on with ease. She walked out of the room and down the stairs and into the living room and was about to leave when she ran into non other than Jay himself.

"Going somewhere?" He asked as he examined her attire.

"Yeah I'm going to go check out that abandoned mansion everyone keeps talking about. So if you see Bret let him know for me?" She asked. And when he nodded his head answering her question she smiled at him and then headed out of the house.

It wasn't that far away from where they lived. Just a couple blocks down and then about a mile into the woods.She began walking, pulling er jacket closer as he cool winds began to pick up. She arrived at the mansion in about 30 minutes. Once she arrived at the door of the mansion she paused. There was a strange stench in the air. She ignored the smell and opened the door and walked in.

The stench was even stronger inside. She started to cough a little. Right after she coughed she heard creaking coming from somewhere in the house. She ignored it as the wind blowing at the house. She made her way around the house, looking into each room as she went along. She came to a room at the end of the hallway. When she walked into the room she was terrified. There on the floor was a body,freshly killed and laying in it's own blood. She stumbled backwards and hit something.Before she could turn around something hard was smashed against the back of her head.

When Rose started to come to a sudden pain shot through her head. She moaned a bit as she opened her eyes a little.Laying next to her was an empty beer bottle. That must have been what she was hit with. She heard heavy footsteps coming towards her. They stopped right behind her. She felt her heart speed up. A cold, gruff, voice suddenly spoke out.

"Wrong place at the wrong time" It said as she felt something sharp glide with ease across her neck. It was soon fallowed by a warm liquid running down her neck onto her chest. As soon as they came she heard the heavy footsteps walking away. As she lay there in the dark, awaiting her fate, she saw images flash before her. Non from the pain and suffering she had dealt with before she had met Jay and Bret, her boyfriend, but all the fun they had together.

She didn't know how long she had been laying there, but everything was starting to feel distant, cold, and darker. She knew her life was slipping away. In the distant she thought she heard voices and footsteps running in her direction. Although she couldn't be sure if they were real or if her mind was playing games. Out of nowhere she felt a sudden warmth take over her. It was only short lived though. Son after the cold darkness took over her forever.

So I hope you guys had fun reading it. I actually made this for my mythology class, short story and novel, last year. I know there is a reference in there to something I hadn't explained. I have another story, or book if you would like,that goes way more in depth of her life with Jay and Bret (changed the names a little) and is currently 300 pages (all of which are hand written.) I hope this isn't considered too gory or anything. Any comments, critique, or anything is appreciated.

Gal on the move (aka Angel), American paint mare, 1991 - current
Wc jae bar drifter (aka Jinxx), American quarter horse gelding, 2011 - current
Rockin the rocker (aka Twig), American quarter horse gelding, 1994 - 2011
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post #2 of 3 Old 04-22-2014, 02:01 AM
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Australia
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There's a lot of tell and not a lot of show. Try to use more similes and metaphors, and personification of inanimate objects [or of concepts] is fun! One of my favourite sentences that I've ever used in my own writing was, "Consciousness fled, screaming, from my grasp."

One word turns the sentence from a boring telling sentence into a fun one. Without 'screaming' it's kind of bland and doesn't flow that well.

Otherwise, watch your grammar. I see you use "it's" to mean "the blood of the body", no apostrophe. "The kitten suckled from its mother." "It's" is a contraction of "it is". Common mistake that I see MANY people make.

And one more thing. "Rose was sitting on her bed working on a story that she had been working on over the last year or so." Not a very good hook, for starters. It doesn't draw the reader in. And then you use "working on" twice in the same sentence. It's awkward, clunky, and sort of puts the reader off, the exact opposite of what you want to do.

For me, horror is always more terrifying from first person, when written well. Always. And you want it to be scary.

I want more imagery. This is just words on a computer screen. I want something that puts images in my head, makes me SEE what the character is seeing, FEEL what the character is feeling. I WANT HER FEAR.

Oh yes - and dead bodies don't have a "stench" when they're only just dead. The smell of blood perhaps but for humans, the smell of death itself is more of a subconscious thing. We know it, but it's so subtle that we don't consciously know it. We don't consciously smell it. The stench we've come to associate with death is in fact the smell of decomposition.

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post #3 of 3 Old 04-22-2014, 04:52 AM
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Australia
Posts: 5,793
• Horses: 4
Short stories don't have to be unemotional or detached for lack of words, either - while I'm at it I'll shoot you a link to something I wrote years ago. I didn't use much description but it's not about seeing it... not for that story. It's about feeling it.

On Her Own by ImmortalShande on deviantART

I've always had a bit of a gift for shorts.

Personification is something I've always enjoyed. Here's another that I played with, where I treated a fire [and its source] as sentient beings.

The Inferno by ImmortalShande on deviantART

If you want to write well, READ, and read a lot!

edit; those are both very old, I left that deviantart account in 2009. I'm now at though I don't post much of my writing on there.

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