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Old 02-01-2013, 04:31 PM   #1
cottonnightie
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Sentence structure and point of view questions

First, thanks very much for the previous feedback and assistance. Everyone who has provided constructive criticism was helpful and I hope to demonstrate that I'm willing to put the advice to good use.

The last story had problems with my repetitive use of a particular sentence structure (pronoun verbed the something something) and boring descriptions.

I've written a new story from scratch (~3500 words) with two overriding goals in mind:

1. avoid simple, repetitive sentence structure and
2. move the point of view to keep from making boring, third-person declarative scene descriptions

I'm not sure how well I am doing, because I always seem to be a little blind reading my own words. I just keep missing lots of things, even when I try reading it out loud. Here is the story, boy chases girl until she catches him and another girl, too:

http://freetexthost.com/vt4gmm32tm

I hope to avoid a repeat of the last time when I submitted and got rejected without really understanding why. Incidentally, my last story is still pending, but I think every time I've updated it, it goes to the back of the queue again. Ha! That'll teach me to edit in the queue.

Anyway, thank you in advance for your time if you choose to read and comment.

CN

Last edited by cottonnightie : 02-01-2013 at 04:35 PM.
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Old 02-01-2013, 06:38 PM   #2
Bramblethorn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cottonnightie View Post
Here is the story, boy chases girl until she catches him and another girl, too:

http://freetexthost.com/vt4gmm32tm

I hope to avoid a repeat of the last time when I submitted and got rejected without really understanding why. Incidentally, my last story is still pending, but I think every time I've updated it, it goes to the back of the queue again. Ha! That'll teach me to edit in the queue.
Yep, editing in the queue will do that.

I thought it was pretty good overall. A few points I noticed:

Quote:
a warning almost loud enough to hear; stay away
Should be a colon there, not a semicolon, IMHO.

Quote:
Children received a real smile, even the noisy ones, but they didn't come into the coffee shop very often.
This confused me. The first paragraph gives the impression he's watching her on one occasion as she drinks a coffee. How long does that coffee last? Maybe twenty minutes? But now you're telling us that even though children don't come in often, he's seen her reaction to several children. This makes it sound more like he's been observing her over several days.

Quote:
The decline of books ruined his favorite tactic. Now that everyone read on pads, the hint given by the visible title and cover of the book were lost.
"had ruined", "hints".

Quote:
As he hoped, ignoring her seemed to work better than pursuit
"had hoped"

Quote:
"Please call me Jim," he said, looking up at her with a benign expression... "I am pleased to meet you," he said, noticing that she affected the same kind of playfully formal speech he used with her initially.
I'd cut out everything but the spoken words here. My rule of thumb is never to use dialogue tags/accompanying text to convey information that should already be conveyed by the dialogue. There are a lot of other "he said"/"she said"s that could also be removed without losing anything.

"It should be a made into a cologne" - delete first "a".

Quote:
The waitress arrived wearing a slim black dress, barefoot, with a thin gold chain around her ankle. Based upon how the thin fabric clung to her breasts and hips, she did not appear to be wearing any undergarments
Missing full-stop at the end here. Also, this bit startled me - I was given to expect a "pub" and suddenly I'm seeing something more like a gentlemen's club. Possibly needs some forewarning, e.g. "This pub is a bit unconventional, but I think you'd like it."

If the dress is so short as to expose her cheeks when she bends over later on, you probably want to mention that here too. In fact, I'd probably lose "slim" - if it's THAT short, it doesn't really get much opportunity to be "slim".

Also: is Stephanie aware that Jim is her boss? This is something that's going to affect the way they interact but I don't think it's ever addressed.

Quote:
"May I taste it," he said.
Should have a question mark here.
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Old 02-01-2013, 10:25 PM   #3
cottonnightie
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Thanks for taking the time to read and give me feedback. I have updated the story to include your grammar changes.

I changed the wording in the paragraph where he observes her to mention he "watched her discreetly over a period of days" which should help.

I have trimmed down the he said, she said parts as you suggested and I think it reads better now.

I changed the description of her dress from slim to very short. I could not find a way to get her cheeks showing in that paragraph without adding another sentence, which seemed to mess up the flow / pacing.

I had intended The Reading Room to be more of a private club of sorts, but somehow I managed to forget that pub stands for public house...

As far as Stephanie and the boss' relationship, I'd hoped her submissive responses implied that she was a both an employee of the club and, at her discretion, a participant when invited. I think it may be less jarring with the above change from pub to private club.

One more question if you don't mind. Did the shifting points of view at the end seem distracting or artificial somehow? Or did it flow well enough?

I've read many other scenes with multiple participants and can't seem to find a way to keep from either getting stuck in a single subjective point of view or a third-party, objective description of actions, neither of which seem to capture the same intensity as describing a couple performing similar acts.

If you or anyone else can point to an example or two of a scene with good intensity and multiple participants, I would appreciate it!

CN
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Old 02-02-2013, 03:41 AM   #4
Bramblethorn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cottonnightie View Post
One more question if you don't mind. Did the shifting points of view at the end seem distracting or artificial somehow? Or did it flow well enough?
I didn't notice it, so I guess it worked :-)
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:10 PM   #5
cottonnightie
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Thanks again Bramblethorn! The story you helped me with is live today and doing well.

http://www.literotica.com/s/the-reading-room

CN
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:39 PM   #6
sr71plt
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Can you at least say whether the problem (if there even was one) was Briticisms? Because it's going to keep coming up as a problem--and Brits can (understandably) be hot under the collar that it might be an issue.
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Old 02-09-2013, 09:19 PM   #7
Bramblethorn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cottonnightie View Post
Thanks again Bramblethorn! The story you helped me with is live today and doing well.

http://www.literotica.com/s/the-reading-room

CN
Glad to hear it :-) You're very welcome.
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Old 02-09-2013, 09:39 PM   #8
cottonnightie
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sr71plt, I'm afraid you've confused me with Sarahduk in her Rejection thread. I was rejected previously for words that I used incorrectly, but had escaped my notice because they were spelled correctly.

CN

Last edited by cottonnightie : 02-09-2013 at 09:41 PM.
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Old 02-09-2013, 09:43 PM   #9
sr71plt
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Quote:
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sr71plt, I'm afraid you've confused me with Sarahduk in her Rejection thread. I was rejected previously for words that I used incorrectly, but had escaped my notice because they were spelled correctly.

CN
Yes. Right. Sorry. I'm surprised, though, that words used incorrectly would have been caught by the system. Glad you got it straightened out and published, though.
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