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for Sherwood

3/22/2007 c2 3Temeraire
Again, your first sentence was rather bothersome. You tacked on an extra phrase [maybe two? I can forgive one extra phrase, but not two] that not only ruined the flow, but also proved to be slightly redundant. If something's in plain view, there are obviously no visible obstructions. There...just aren't. And if something is right in front of you, it's going to be in plain view. So, change it to:

'The deer had been right in front of me by about twenty feet...'

The other problem I have with this sentence is...just the entire structure. It feels as if it should have a 'when blah blah blah happened' at the end. It sort of reads like: "He had been riding a bicycle." And the reader's like: "And...what?" There's just this strange feeling of incompleteness that bothers me. Hmph.

The next sentence also bothers me. It might read better as: '...from where I stood, and my bow was notched and ready to shoot.' But, dang, the redundancy problem is cropping up again. If a bow is notched, it's ready to shoot. It just is. Usually. See where I'm going with this?

Read, read, read. Good, good, good. Okay.

"I could still see blurs of it running but I let it go, moving targets weren’t my forte. " - Semicolon instead of a comma. That is a comma splice. Ew. I'd also rather prefer: 'I could still see the blur of brown-gold fur streaking through the woods, but I...; moving targets weren't my forte.' More descriptive and less awkward.

"Sighing, I sat down at the base of a large moss-covered tree, setting my bow and quiver down next to me." - This is just my personal preference. I'd rather have you use less -ing words in one sentence if they aren't being listed. I don't know why, but I don't like the sentence structure here. '...,and I set my bow and quiver down next to me,' would be what I prefer. That's just me, though. Whatever you choose.

"The few that wandered into Sherwood were usually slow and stupid therefore easy to kill for several meals to come. " - After 'stupid', use a comma. I'd, once again, prefer another independent clause like such: '...slow and stupid; therefore, they were easy to kill.' I don't much like your last phrase about the meals, but it's nothing I can nitpick on.

"Who else could be shirking their duties at home to wander in these woods? I wondered. " - Italics for thoughts. And it sounds better as: 'Who else /would/...' The sentence you have right now implies that people usually can't shirk their duties. You want a sentence that implies that people usually don't shirk their duties.

"...I had chased all over the wood for the past morning (which was probably the case, there weren’t many deer to shoot in Sherwood)" - Shouldn't it be woods? You used woods earlier...Stick with what you used previously. Also: '(which was probably the case /as/ there weren't many deer...).

"Not many men in these parts bothered with hunting, game was poor in quantity and our meager spits of land were for some reason constantly needing attention. " - Comma splice. Either change the comma to a period or semicolon. I'd say semicolon, but I'm a semicolon-abuser. Whatever. Also, the passive voice in the second phrase is annoying. '...game was poor in quantity and our meager spits of land constantly needed attention for some reason,' may read better.

"...with bow in hand, ran off after them, careful not to step in the patches of nettles sprinkled everywhere. " - '.../avoiding/ the patches of...' It gets rid of that awkward wording.

"...of sight down a slope leading down into a small valley." - Down. Down. Repetition. Change please.

"...down into the gully I was dumbfounded." - Comma after 'gully'.

"An entire camp of people were living out in the middle of the woods, makeshift tents and shelters scattered the ground and a large fire pit was in the center, where the men were headed. " - This is just...awkward. How 'bout: 'The men were heading towards an entire camp of people living out in the middle of the woods. Makeshift tents and shelters were scattered around the clearing and a large fire pit at its center let off smoke from a previously-lit fire.' I added a little spice, but you get the idea? Moving on...

"...enough feed my family for weeks without touching potatoes." - Enough to feed...blah blah blah.

"I turned quickly to run home when I slipped and fell on my hands and knees, my bow knocked out of my grasp. I heard someone laugh, not far from where I fell. When I looked up, I was looking into the face of a grinning man, his hands crossed over his chest." - Awkward. Awkward. And awkward. 'I turned quickly to rush home but I slipped and fell on my hands and knees. My bow was knocked from my grasp, and I heard someone laugh from above. When I looked up, I was peering into the face of a grinning man who had his hands crossed over his chest,' is how I would write it.

All in all, I really think I liked your poem better. I'll take a look at "Checkmate" soon. [Oh, chess.] Most of my advise is heavily subjective, so do with it as you will.

Ciao! [And if I sounded ornery or something, that's just me being annoyed with the fact that I hurt my wrist yesterday...]

3/22/2007 c1 Temeraire
First thing that caught my eye: you misused a word in the first paragraph...er...sentence. It's passed, not past.

So the first paragraph might read better like this:

When legends are /passed/ down from generation to generation, the truth is often warped to a point /where/ deeds are exaggerated beyond believability/;/ people are made /into/ fictitious figments of folklore and the story is unrecognizable to those who know the truth.

I put all my changes in the slash marks.

Next paragraph:

"As a travelling bard told the tale of "A Gest of Robyn Hode" to a captivated audience in the street, I found myself mentally cringe." - '...I found myself mentally /cringing/,' would work better. As he did this, you were doing that. Get the gist?

"The urge to yell out at the bard hard to suppress." - 'The urge to yell out at the bard /was/ hard to suppress.' You actually missed a whole word there.

"'It's not true! Robin Hood was nothing of that!' I screamed in my head, but who would believe an old bat like me?" - Put thoughts in italics.

"I've lived well past my time and seen many things with these now failing eyes." - '...and I've seen many things with these now-failing eyes.' It flows just a little better.

"How he was a fake and figurehead; outwitting the sheriff was always another's doing, not Robin. He only took the credit. No one listened to my story of the real Robin, save my grandson, John Tucker and even he only listened to them as bedtime stories. " - '...not Robin's...,save my grandson, John Tucker, and even...'

I took out the slash marks at the end, purely because it disturbed me to see them stuck in the sentences. Sorry...er...yeah. A little harder to see the changes, but they're there.

You have problems with tenses and everything. Maybe get a beta to clean it up for you? It randomly changes and...it's rather bothersome.

3/22/2007 c2 6believe-in-futures
Interesting idea.

The voice of your narrator takes a bit of adjusting to but it works. There are a few incongruous bits, you seem to be trying to write in a "period style" but you use modern contractions. It's a bit awkward but not too bad.

Is the narrator a man or a woman? That isn't vitally important, it should come out eventually in the story but it isn't clear at this point.

It should be interesting - good luck with it.
3/22/2007 c1 Vancelle
Very interesting prologue.

I love the alliteration in the first paragraph, you don't see many. And that's about all I have to say, good job.
3/21/2007 c2 splinters
This really looks promising- firstly, you have a very nice narrative style which gives your writing a really rich quality. It all flows very well.

I think it does need a bit more of a 'hook', however, as the more flitty readers might not spend too much time with it. It does really look like an interesting idea, though, and I'd be very interested in hearing about the different side of Robin.

Keep it up!
3/21/2007 c2 Guest
Well, it's rather short- so I can't say anything yet. The only thing is, it doesn't catch much attention. You, like many of us literate authors, are stuck in between trying to make your story appealing to the reader and using advanced writing techniques in it. You see, it might seem that long, elaborate adjectives and well-written passages are descriptive, but they just slow the action down. Try taking out a few words here and there, and it might become more interesting, fast-paced. Also, as a friend has told me whilst reviewing a story of mine, paragraphs of the same size bore the reader- try variating visually- short goes best.

But, so far, I like where this is heading. Good luck!

Sincerely, and with my regards,

The critic you all LOVE to HATE,


Because we FRIGGIN care.
3/21/2007 c1 22effervescent-sentiments
Let's see...

A corrected version of the first paragraph (meaning commas inserted): "When legends are past down from generation to generation, the truth is often warped to a point. Deeds are exaggerated beyond believability, people are made fictitious figments of folklore, and the story is unrecognizable to those who /do/ know the truth."

The "/do/" is optional.

Och. Second paragraph: your tense is all over the place. You lapse into present tense quite a few times. Also, "Robin Hood" doesn't need to be said so many times. "He" will work perfectly fine. Comma placement! Where are the commas?

Overall, I think this could turn out to be pretty good, but it all depends on how you develop the plot. Good luck writing!


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