creative writing story.. I need feedback please!
Hey all. This is a story that is part of a project that I had to do for my Creative Writing class. It is a diary type thing of a girl that had to move and it is her experiences and stuff. There are also diary entries and such. I will post the first page and if you want more after that, I can post the rest. I dont want to post all 10 pages at once though because I don't know how to do that. Anyway, I am copying and pasting from the story i have already written on Word.
thanks in advance!!
The title is A Glimpse In: Ivy's Diary
The afternoon sun reflected off the light blue water of the ocean. This was going to be my last time here, just sitting enjoying the sun and sand. I’m going to miss this place. After living here for the past 17 years of my life, it is going to be hard to pick up and move. This is the only home that I know. I pack up my things and go home. I walk down the beach for the very last time.
On the eve of our move, I am up late, packing up the last of my possessions because the moving van will be here in the morning. I look around my room and it is bare. All my posters are packed, all my pictures and stuffed animals. My entire life is packed in the boxes surrounding me on the floor. I stand up and walk over to my window, and look out to the water below. I have lived along the ocean for as long as I can remember. I love watching the moonlight dance on the water at night and the sun shine on it in the morning. I am going to miss the beach and ocean.
My parents and I are moving to a ranch in Tennessee. They bought the ranch a few years ago but it was being used for raising cattle. Now the people who had been renting it have moved and my parents thought it would be a good idea to uproot me and move there. Moving from Florida to Tennessee isn’t that big of a move, but the two states are vastly different. I love the sunny beaches and the palm trees of Florida. I don’t think they have those in Tennessee. Tomorrow will be the first day of the rest of my life. It was up to me to make the best of it.
The next day, I awoke early in the morning, when the sun was just coming up over the palm trees and the ocean. It was a beautiful summer morning. The sun was shining through my window onto my now bare walls. It cast such an empty feeling in my heart and I almost started to cry. I didn’t want to move and leave all of my friends or my house. I heard a rumble from outside and then my mom calling me to come help pack the moving truck that had just pulled up. I looked out from my bedroom window and I saw 2 movers carrying our sectional up the ramp and onto the truck. I sighed and made my way downstairs.
The move was hard and took a month and a half to complete. It was a really hard time and I know I cried myself to sleep more than once in my new room. The ranch was beautiful, with luscious green grass and looming weeping willow trees everywhere, but I still did not feel at home here. It would definitely take time.
My parents told me that I could look for a couple horses that we could buy because our new ranch was huge and we didn’t have any animals yet. There is really no point in living on a huge 100 acre ranch if you didn’t have horses or other animals. I was basically terrified of horses at that point so I was reluctant to go and look at them with my parents. We went to this one farm though, to look at an expensive jumper who turned out to be my future grand champion
It's a great start. I would put a date on the top but leave the year off, you know like... June 16th...with no year that way the book is always up to date... and then I would be careful with your tenses... at one point your speaking current tense and then you go into like a past tense... other then that... it's a good start....
1st sentence-I would try to use a more specific word that "blue," if you can think of something that its the same color as, this would be a good time to insert a simile/metaphor.
3rd sentence- its a fragment, and I don't think it adds much to your piece, with creative writing, you want to "show" and not tell the readers what you are feeling. They should have to work for it, just telling them flat out is too easy.
5,6,7- these are ok, but I still don't see how this is creative writing, you are just coming out and telling us how you feel. Think of creative writing as a mix of poetry and writing, you want to use a of description, and if you use internal monologue like that, make it abstract.
2nd and 3rd-these are not complete thoughts, and your description of your room is very cliche-I know you can think of something better.
4th sentence- love this one
5th-end of 2nd paragraph- thesaurus.com is your friend. Try to replace words such as shine, walk ect. There are so many syn. for these words, using a less commonly used one can really add to your piece.
Third paragraph- you really need to think more abstractly, you are telling us what is happening, not showing us. The essence of creative writing lies in the creativity, so you need to be more creative. Use similies/metaphors, use allusions, use descriptive words, and connect your sentences with commas so you have less fragments.
3rd sentence- try and avoid using phrases like "the sun was shining," they are common, and everyone who is reading your piece will have heard it before.
Rest of 3rd paragraph- I'm not sure why you keep telling us your thoughts, they are interesting-yes, but in creative writing if you are going to let readers know what you are thinking, you have to show them. Would someone telling you a story about something tragic be as effective as if you were actually there when the tragedy happened? you want to think in this kind of mentality when writing, especially if this is a creative writing assignment.
1st and 2nd- you used the word "hard" in both sentences. It would be okay to use it once, but twice is too many. I think you could think of a more descriptive word too.
3rd- this sentence is better than some of the others, but you really want to describe what you are writing about uniquely. "Luscious green" is a typical phrase, maybe when it was used the first time it was effective, but there are a plethora of interesting words that could replace both of these words. What kind of green was it? was it a mossy green? a seafoam green? you want to get as specific as possible, because details in a story make it more believable, and they make it more real for the reader. Also, I would eliminate the word "here" at the end of this sentence.
1st- I would reword this sentence, it sounds awkward, and your use of the word "that" makes the entire sentence sound choppy, you also used it more than once which is often a bad thing. It makes readers think that 1. you do not know enough words to think of another 2. you didn't notice it or 3. you are unable to rearange the sentence to eliminate the confusion. None of these are things you want the reader to be thinking, they should not be made into critics, they should be your audience.
3rd- "basically afraid"-what does that mean? does that mean you were just a little afraid? terrified? or you were just apprehensive about touching them? I am not a fan of the word basically for many reasons, and I think in this case it would be clearer if you completely eliminated the word. If you are going to describe something, make sure it clarifies, not confuses the reader.
Last sentence- do you really want to give away the ending already? it just reminds me of a kingergardener writing "I am going to tell you about...." this not only spoils the ending, but if the reader does not approve of what the entire book is going to be about, you are out of luck.
Okay, I'll get off my high "horse" now, I don't mean to be harsh but I think you need to put the "creative" in creative writing. You need to figure out the difference between the two styles, and once you do I have faith that you will have no problem with this assignment.
If you want me to critique other parts of your assignment, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, I don't get on this board much.
To the post above mine - Firstly, the third sentence is not a fragment. Secondly, I very much see that it is a style of creative writing, and she mentioned that it is supposed to be somewhat of a diary/journal entry.
I agree with farmpony about the dates - they will REALLY help the reader understand.
WATCH YOUR TENSES! You have switched several times throughout, and it is difficult to follow. The oldest part of the "journal" is in a present tense, while the most recent are in a past tense - that doesn't make sense. You need to make it logical and flowing - think about writing in your own journal. Become your character.
I like the idea of this story, and I LOVE that you have chosen to write in the first person. It is my favorite way to write, and I have found that few people have the voice to do it effectively.
I sense your voice, but I don't hear it. Sit down and think. Is this character you? Or have you created a new character, different from yourself? What color hair does she have? How old is she? Is she a girly-girl or a tom-boy? Since she's scared of horses, what does she do instead? Why the sudden move? Dad's job? Death in the family? You cannot effectively write in the first person without becoming that person. Could you effectively write about what a stranger is thinking or feeling? If I asked you to write from my point of view, you would have no idea where to start, because you don't know me. A character is just a stranger that you must get to know.
Another thing I noticed is that you really need to complete your thoughts. It reads as though you wrote it hurriedly, even if you didn't. When you touch on when her parents bought the farm, you don't elaborate, and you leave the reader thinking, "...ok?" Never a good thing.
Lastly, pull out your thesaurus. Look up synonyms for words that seem ordinary. Just don't over do it. Count how many sentences start with "I," "The," "This," and "That" - and rearrange some of them to be more interesting.
I really like this style of writing - a journal is a great way to allow a reader to know a character. But you have to know that character first. Kudos for thinking outside the box - just needs some tweaking. :]
omigosh leah and otis! where were you when I posted my story! I want that kind of feedback....
Farmpony, I read your story and it didn't need that kind of feedback. ;]
If you (snapple) are not going to write it in an abstract style, I think you need to have an original idea. The idea of moving has been done many times, which is absolutly fine, there is a reason why it has been done so often. But, if you are going to write about something so commonplace, you need to make it different from all the other works out there, its hard to tell if thats the road you are headed down because we only have seen a small bit of what you have, but just keep that in mind when writing.
Don't take this criticism the wrong way, I think you have a good start, and as LK said, you just need to tweek some things.
I think creative writing is very much a genre of writing. Any novel is "creative writing," even if its subject matter is trite and overdone (not to say that this story is either of those things.) Creative writing is when the writer creates - it is fiction. The level of that creativity will vary, and it takes much time to become an effective creative writer. Some have to work much harder at it than others.
The OP is most certainly on the write track here. She has chose to write in the first person limited, which always makes for an interesting read. It just needs some fine tuning. :]
Oh - please don't think I was trying to argue - I wasn't. Just discussing. Sorry if it came off the wrong way.
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