Forum
Community Forum
Today's Posts
FAQ & Rules
Members List

Writing
Writing Forum
Recent Posts
Critique Guidelines

Groups
YWO Social Groups
Facebook
Myspace

Chat
 
YWA

Register

Store
Support YWO
YWO Merchandise
The Book Despository
Amazon.com (US)
Amazon.co.uk (UK)
Amazon.ca (Canada)

SBS Mag


Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 06-08-2017, 02:50 AM View Post #1 (Link) Cactus Water (Page One)
Molly (Offline)
Literary Newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: US
Posts: 6
Points: 20
Times Thanked: 1
This is the first page of a story I've been working on which now consists of about 20 pages, please let me know if you'd like to hear more! Enjoy!
__________________________________________________________________________________
One summer morning Marco Quintana woke up, wanting the desert. Wanting to pour it into a glass jar for his own, the cactuses glazing the rim, the sand golden and warm. His room was crowded with sunlight, the sun stumbled over his worn sneakers and Resin radio, the words of 'La Bamba' danced along with the sun. He threw off the sheets and lay there as the heat poured through the windows, sliding through the fissures and crevices of the slightly cracked glass. He reached for the radio slowly, and found his hand, stiff from sleep, upon it. Marco’s fingers slid across the numerous knobs and buttons until he flipped the channel. He couldn’t stand ‘La Bamba,’ or the heat. The heat was everywhere, up his sheets, trapped in his shirt, sliding down his armpits, kissing his neck, skewered on the cactuses outside his window. Marco sat up abruptly, tore his shirt from his body, and threw it to the ground. He wiped the sweat from his chest, his rich olive skin absorbed it all. Marco stood stretching in the middle of his bedroom, the dusty sunshine combing his hair with her fingers gently. He clicked the off switch on his radio, and trudged out of his room. He combed his long fingers through his dark unkempt hair, his fingers weaved in and out of the dark mess, submerging and re emerging, coming back up for air. Mrs. Quintana was grading papers from her Algebra class at UNM the previous week prior to the last week of summer. The papers stuck together in a large heap at the corner of the coffee table where Mr. Quintana sat. Coffee rings stamped the answers, sprawling out along the scrawled pencil marks. She looked lively still, the overbearing sun exposed her features, sitting in the crevices in her forehead. Marco sat in the chair opposite her. The rustic metal material whined as Marco dragged it along the tile floor, the material was uneven and rough and scraped at Marco’s fingers. Mrs. Quintana dragged her eyes from the papers, and turned her gaze towards Marco. He loved her eyes, they were the greenest shade of green imaginable. They held the ocean inside of them, the ocean only spilled out of her eyes when she cried, which was never. A ring of fire burned inside of them, outlining her iris, a dropped match burning through a forest of green. Her dark hair outlined her round and smooth face. No wrinkles pulled at her features, they didn’t draw their lines across her cheeks just yet, their pencil was down. Her lips were full and plump, and almost always touched when she said his name. Marco loved everything about his mother. He often felt as if he wanted to crawl back inside her womb, and never re emerge again, just to be safe in her body, never to be harmed or harm, just to be a part of her would be enough. “Marco Polo!” she exclaimed cheerfully, her voice full and happy. “Hi Mom,” Marco cocked his head and raised an eyebrow at her. Mrs. Quintana reached her plump hand over and ruffled his hair while Marco sipped her coffee, the scalding liquid rushing down his throat, slicing it with its steam. Marco sat up and smiled half-heartedly. “I’m gonna go to the public pool today mom, or I was thinking about it.” “Marco Polo really? You’re going to make some friends and not just sit out by the fence?” “I’ll try ok?” “But you’re going to swim aren’t you? You were always so good at swimming when you’d go over to Abuelita’s! Lapping the pool!” “Mom I’ll swim I swear.” “I’ll walk you!” “Mom I can go by myself.” “Oh. So you are worried about all the pretty girls at the pool, eh? Me embarrassing you, eh?” Marco took her coffee, clutching it tightly in his right hand, and headed back to his room. “I’ll get my trunks on.”
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2017, 03:26 PM View Post #2 (Link)
addictedtoreading (Offline)
Scholarly Apprentice
 
addictedtoreading's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Canada
Posts: 215
Points: 30
Times Thanked: 45
Spoiler:
One summer morning Marco Quintana woke up, wanting the desert. The term "wanting" is a bit abstract here, find another word (perhaps "pining" "dreaming of"? Heanted to pour it into a glass jar for his own, the cactuses glazing the rim, the sand golden and warm. Either add a little bit more information here, or provide some kind of transition. His room was crowded with sunlight, the sun stumbled I like this over his worn sneakers and Resin radio, the words of 'La Bamba' danced along with the sun. He threw off the sheets and lay there as the heat poured through the windows, sliding through the fissures and crevices of the slightly cracked glass. He reached for the radio slowly, and found his hand, still stiff from sleep, upon it. Marco’s fingers slid across the numerous knobs and buttons until he flipped the channel. He couldn’t stand ‘La Bamba,’ or the heat. The heat was everywhere, up his sheets, trapped in his shirt, sliding down his armpits, kissing his neck, skewered on the cactuses outside his window. Marco sat up abruptly, tore his shirt from his body, and threw it to the ground. That's a bit violentHe wiped the sweat from his chest, his rich olive skin absorbed it all. Marco stood stretching in the middle of his bedroom, the dusty sunshine combing his hair with her fingers gently. He clicked the off switch on his radio, and trudged out of his room. He You've already started the previous sentences with "he" or Marco as the subject, try switching it up or else you'll just end up with a paragraph following this man's every move (will read more like a set of actions than a story)combed his long fingers through his dark unkempt hair, his fingers weaved in and out of the dark mess, submerging and re emerging, coming back up for air. Mrs. Quintana his mother? Or his wife? Be sure to specify.was grading papers from her Algebra class at UNM the previous week prior to the last week of summer. The papers stuck together in a large heap at the corner of the coffee table where Mr. Quintana sat. Coffee rings stamped the answers, sprawling out along the scrawled pencil marks. She looked lively still, the overbearing sun exposed her features, sitting in the crevices in her forehead. Marco sat in the chair opposite her. The rustic metal material whined as Marco dragged it along the tile floor, the material was uneven and rough and scraped at Marco’s fingers. Mrs. Quintana dragged her eyes from the papers, and turned her gaze towards Marco. He loved her eyes, they were the greenest shade of green imaginable. They held the ocean inside of them, the ocean only spilled out of her eyes when she cried, which was never. If she never cried, how do you know the ocean spills out of her eyes? This detail is unneeded. A ring of fire burned inside of them, outlining her iris, a dropped match burning through a forest of green. Her dark hair outlined her round and smooth face. No wrinkles pulled at her features, they didn’t draw their lines across her cheeks just yet, their pencil was down. Her lips were full and plump, and almost always touched when she said his name. Marco loved everything about his mother. He often felt as if he wanted to crawl back inside her womb, and never re emerge again, just to be safe in her body, never to be harmed or harm, just to be a part of her would be enough. That's touching but also a tad bit creepy (is that the point?) “Marco Polo!” she exclaimed cheerfully, her voice full and happy. “Hi Mom,” Marco cocked his head and raised an eyebrow at her. Mrs. Quintana reached her plump hand over and ruffled his hair while Marco sipped her coffee, the scalding liquid rushing down his throat, slicing it with its steam. Marco sat up and smiled half-heartedly. “I’m gonna go to the public pool today mom, or I was thinking about it.” “Marco Polo really? You’re going to make some friends and not just sit out by the fence?” “I’ll try ok?” “But you’re going to swim aren’t you? You were always so good at swimming when you’d go over to Abuelita’s! Lapping the pool!” “Mom I’ll swim I swear.” “I’ll walk you!” “Mom I can go by myself.” “Oh. So you are worried about all the pretty girls at the pool, eh? Me embarrassing you, eh?” Marco took her coffee, clutching it tightly in his right hand, and headed back to his room. “I’ll get my trunks on.” You need to separate your dialogue into lines, and make sure it is clear which character is speaking otherwise the readers will just be confused and it will break up the flow of the story.


First of all welcome to YWO! Some of the description was very well written and gave me a very clear mental picture about what was happening. Try to separate your paragraphs next time, so it's not all just a clump and it will make it easier for others to edit and read it. Also in copy, your writing needs to be organized.

Let me know if you have any comments or questions
__________________
Abby

Please don't hesitate to message me if you have any comments or questions, I'm always happy to talk about anything reading or writing related. If you want me to look at your writing just ask!
It is not hard to write what one feels as truth. It is damned hard to live by it.
-Eugene O'Neil to Alexander Berkman
I am also a major Tumblr addict and have a collection of quotes (reblogged and stockpiled over the course of five years) that you are welcome to peruse
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2017, 06:28 PM View Post #3 (Link)
SerialLove (Offline)
Novice Writer
 
SerialLove's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 16
Points: 7
Times Thanked: 3
Originally Posted by Molly View Post

One summer morning Marco Quintana woke up, wanting the desert. I slightly have to disagree with the previous commenter, while the term wanting is abstract, I find that it works rather well in this piece. You could change it but I personally would keep it the way it is [then again, every writer and reader is different]. He Wanting wanted to pour it into a glass jar for his own, [with] the cactuses glazing the rim [and] the sand golden and warm. Tell me more about this desert in a jar. The rest of Marco's life can wait for a minute, I want to know more. His room was crowded with sunlight, the sun stumbled over his worn sneakers and Resin radio, the words of 'La Bamba' danced along with the sun. I like this image here. Personally I would think of changing a few words to add to the flow, for example you say that the sun is stumbling yet the words of La Bamba are dancing. While it makes the image beautiful I personally don't see correlation between stumbling and dancing.He threw off the sheets and lay there as the heat poured through the windows, sliding through the fissures and crevices of the slightly cracked glass. He reached for the radio slowly, and found his hand, still stiff from sleep, upon it. Marco’s fingers slid across the numerous knobs and buttons until he flipped the channel. He couldn’t stand ‘La Bamba,’ or the heat. To me this is amusing, mainly for the fact that he cant stand heat but wants the desert.The heat was everywhere, up his sheets, trapped in his shirt, sliding down his armpits, kissing his neck, skewered on the cactuses outside his window. You have already referenced the cactuses, so I would suggest trying to reference something different. If Marco is actually living in the desert [and I'm going to assume that he his based off of the previous details] then you could use yucca or you could even mention the specific cactus that's out side his window. That would actually add a lot to the specific location in which Marco lives as some cacti only grown in certain climates. But that's all just a thought to chew upon. Marco sat up abruptly, tore his shirt from his body, and threw it to the ground. He threw the sheets, now he's throwing the shirt... Hmm, maybe you could find better ways to show his discomfort or agitation without returning to the same actions. He wiped the sweat from his chest, his rich olive skin absorbed it all. To me this doesn't make much sense. If his skin absorbed the sweat, then why would he have to wipe it off?

Marco stood stretching in the middle of his bedroom, the dusty sunshine combing his hair with her fingers gently. He clicked the off switch on his radio, and trudged out of his room. He combed his long fingers through his dark unkempt hair, his fingers weaved in and out of the dark mess, submerging and re emerging, coming back up for air. Ok, a few things here. One you used the word 'fingers' three times in a row, it's not bad but if you reworded the sentence a bit you could at least cut out one 'finger.' Two, the flow is choppy here. Mrs. Quintana was grading papers from her Algebra class at UNM Ahh, now we get a location. Good old New Mexico [the state that can never make up its mind on the season] the previous week prior to the last week of summer. The ending of this sentence is a little confusing. The papers stuck together in a large heap at the corner of the coffee table where Mr. Quintana sat. Coffee rings stamped the answers, sprawling out along the scrawled pencil marks. She looked lively still, the overbearing sun exposed her features, sitting in the crevices in her forehead. Marco sat in the chair opposite her. The rustic metal material whined Material seems wrongly placed here. When you think of something dragging across the floor you see the chair's legs and typically material would be on the seat. While material can be used to describe the product used to create a certain piece you don't see people describing something as its material. For example, you wouldn't necessarily walk into a furniture store and hear "ahh and look at the fine wood material that makes up that table," that'd be weird, instead you would probably hear "ahh look at [the fine wood] [rich chestnut] [etcetera] used to create this beautiful table." Or something along those lines. as Marco he dragged it along the tile floor, the material was uneven and rough and it scraped at Marco’s fingers.

Mrs. Quintana dragged her eyes from the papers, and turned her gaze towards Marco. He loved her eyes, they were the greenest shade of green imaginable. They held the ocean inside of them, the ocean only spilled out of her eyes when she cried, which was never. Like the previous commenter said, if she never cries, then we don't need this description. A ring of fire burned inside of them, outlining her iris, a dropped match burning through a forest of green. Your description is overused here. First we know her eyes are green and typically forests are green as well so we don't need that bit at the end. Second you used burned in one form or another twice in one second. Find different ways of saying the same thing without saying the same thing. Her dark hair outlined her round and smooth face. No wrinkles pulled at her features, they didn’t draw their lines across her cheeks just yet, their pencil was down. This sentence is a little confusing. Her lips were full and plump, and almost always touched when she said his name. I like what you're doing here but almost doesn't seem right. Wouldn't here lips always touch when they say his name instead of almost always? Because to make the 'm' sound your lips need to touch so it doesn't make sense to think that sometimes her lips never touched when she said Marco. Marco loved everything about his mother. He often felt as if he wanted to crawl back inside her womb, and never re emerge again, just to be safe in her body, never to be harmed or harm, just to be a part of her would be enough. This is just weird. Most people don't feel this way when they think about their mothers [unless they're mentally disabled in one form or another.] So unless this is important to the development of Marco, his mom or the story I might consider rewording it a bit. But you don't have to as it's still an interesting thought on Marco's behalf.

“Marco Polo!” she exclaimed cheerfully, her voice full and happy.

“Hi Mom,” Marco cocked his head and raised an eyebrow at her.

Mrs. Quintana reached her plump You've used plump already to describe her lips. hand over and ruffled his hair while Marco sipped her coffee, the scalding liquid rushing down his throat, slicing it with its steam. Marco sat up and smiled half-heartedly.

“I’m gonna go to the public pool today mom, or I was thinking about it.” I don't like this. The sentence seems disjointed from the way people naturally speak.

Marco Polo really? 'Really' would suffice since we know who she's speaking to. So you’re going to make some friends and not just sit out by the fence?”

“I’ll try ok?." Maybe it's just me but when you use 'ok' it makes the sentence sound more like a statement rather then a question so the question mark feels out of place.

“But you’re going to swim aren’t you? You were always so good at swimming when you’d go over to Abuelita’s! Lapping the pool!”

“Mom I’ll swim I swear.” Why would Marco be going to the pool if he didn't plan on swimming? Also the constant use of exclamation marks is getting tedious. Unless his mother is just yelling everything, there are different ways of expressing excitement or what not.

“I’ll walk you!”

“Mom I can go by myself.”

“Oh. So you are worried about all the pretty girls at the pool, eh? Me embarrassing you, eh?” One 'eh' is enough the other just looks forced.

Marco took her coffee, clutching it tightly in his right hand, and headed back to his room. “I’ll get my trunks on.”
Ok, so first off nice start. I do like the story line and I'm excited to read more. One question I have is why is this titled cactus water? I mean I have some ideas but I would like to know.

Second, the beginning doesn't really tie in with the end. You open the story with Marco wanting the desert but after the first few lines you fade off and continue with something completely different. In fact, I start to get the feeling that Marco actually dislikes the desert, which I wouldn't blame him [I too live in New Mexico and I have my whole life so I could see how he'd hate the heat and what not. When I read that he actually wanted it I kind of thought 'wow, he's either naďve or stupid.'] But all that aside, if you're going to write something, write it with importance. Is the fact that Marco wants the desert important or not and if so then gives us more or hint that you'd be coming back to it, don't just drop in the mud and continue walking.

Third, you need to work on sentence variation and structure. Right now you have a lot of smaller sentences mixed in with overly long and complicated ones. In my opinion at least, you tend to over use commas, which in turn muddle your writing and can eventually confuse one idea with another.

Finally I just want to say that you should work on splitting up your paragraphs kind of how I did above. Right now, with it being one huge wall of text, it makes it hard to sit down and read your work. You need those line breaks to give your readers a moment to readjust and get ready for the next bit of story.

Other then that I feel like I have covered everything in the line by line. If you have any questions feel free to ask. Good luck and continue writing.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2017, 06:53 PM View Post #4 (Link) Nice details.
The Untold Apathies (Offline)
Literary Newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 2
Points: 2.63
Times Thanked: 1
This is good. I like how much detail you put into painting the picture for the audience, especially when describing the heat with "skewered on the cactuses (cacti**) outside hid window". If feel you definitely could've expanded with this and it could prove helpful if you ever want to work off of it to create a story. I would read it
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2017, 11:39 PM View Post #5 (Link)
darkranger14 (Offline)
Literary Newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 3
Points: 7.96
Times Thanked: 1
I really really enjoyed the detail that went into painting a mental picture of what was happening and the environment surrounding the story. As far as grammar I see nothing wrong though I do suggest spacing paragraphs so it doesn't seem as congested or cramped. Over-all, it was a very good read.
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2017, 08:28 AM View Post #6 (Link) My critique
Rebekah (Offline)
Abstract Thinker
 
Rebekah's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: UK
Posts: 35
Points: 22.47
Times Thanked: 4
A good start to your story and I would like to hear more. However, you definitely need to use paragraphs to break it up. Also, watch how you write your speech. If a new person is speaking, it should go on a new line. A part from that, it is great.
__________________
Rebekah

Have A Great Day!
  Reply With Quote
Reply
Thread Tools

 


All times are GMT. The time now is 11:10 AM.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7 - Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
All writing Copyright © its author(s). All other material Copyright © 2007-2012 Young Writers Online unless otherwise specified.
Managed by Andrew Kukwa (Andy) and Shaun Duke (Shaun) from The World in the Satin Bag. Design by HTWoRKS.