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for Nike's More Than A Shoe

7/10/2007 c1 6McQuinn
A few corrections:

"...the paper had been so heavily demarcated"-"Demarcated" means to separate with boundaries. I don't think you're using the correct word. I believe you meant "marked" instead.

called as “improper activities in class”.-"called as" sounds weird. Maybe "known as" or just plain "called."

inserting the pen into my hand-how does she insert the pen into her hand? Do you mean through her fingers, making it look like she inserted it through her hand? Or maybe you just meant you inserted the pen into the paper.

When different people speak within the chapter, they should have their own paragraphs-for example, "Nee, nee, nee" said by Lia, should be in its own paragraph. The comma should also be inside the quotation marks.

(so what if I'm...-there should be a space before the first parenthesis.

and...-three dots will be just fine. More than three is just distracting.

so much less easily-buh. "Less easily" is probably better.

Commas, as a rule, should always go inside the quotation.

me whose too lazy-who's. Who is.

in their room-in her room.

“Lia!”, I hissed - should be "Lia!" I hissed. Without the comma.

whole months allowance-month's.

“Lex and Al?”, Lia told me exasperatedly.-no comma.

“Say what?”, I repeated. - again.

“I am not seeing this right?” - "Am I not seeing this right?"

My lucky day, huh?”, Lia shrugged. - no comma. There are many of these mistakes throughout the chapter.

its understandable - it's.

Oh, alright. - all right.

sneaker's laces - sneakers' laces.

I didn't know that Lex was a girl until she mentioned leaving high school.

You change tenses at times-example: We skid to a halt...

Maybe Nike should mention the fact that Lia's mom has cancer when she was talking about the plastic cancer bracelets.

Might help." I mocked-comma instead of period.

un natural-one word.

Okay. I'm confused. Nike has a Jaguar. A JAGUAR. But she's scrounging up money for lunch, etc. because she wastes 40 dollars a month? I don't understand. It's like...it sounds like she's not well-off until you say that she has a Jaguar. Is she filthy stinking rich? If so, why does she act as if she has nothing?

researchs - researches.

How does she redeem herself by becoming "a nerd who researches a lot"?

ran up to my dangling at my feet - huh?

looked on me with awe-at?

Why do you change to single quotes when she's talking to Devon?

nine year old - nine-year-old.

Course I Do - no capitalized "do."

Wait, what? This is...just unbelievable-she actually stops to give a stranger a ride? With her siblings in the back seat? That's just...stupid. I can't see a girl who's applying to Harvard and Yale doing such a dumb-assed thing. I guess I'm saying this because that scene happened so quickly (and was very confusing) that I didn't understand whether or not they actually knew each other. The worst part of it all is that the chapter's name is "Don't Stop For Lifts." You only take up a few paragraphs to describe the scene...out of the 5-thousand+ words you wrote in this first chapter. So...?

A few good comments:

Horn-rimmed glasses reminds me of Heroes. :p

I love her saying "Would like to punch a hole through him, though."

I love the paragraph where she admits her name's Nike. And the part where you mention her grandma having arthritis.

I love the interactions she has with her friends and siblings.

I kinda like Devon.

Real constructive Criticism:

It sounds as if Nike is trying *too* hard to sound like a cynic. Her mentionings of the word "cynic" add to that fact; it sounds as if she wants us to brainwash us into believing she's cynical. And, unfortunately, all her sarcastic lines and descriptions sound very forced. When I write my cynical character, I almost never mention in the story that she's cynical. It practically ruins the whole thing. It is better to let readers realize that the main character is a cynic through the things she does or says. What I do when I'm writing a cynical character is just relax and think of the most cynical person I know. And I free-type random crap. Like...what I think her response would be if someone made fun of her. Or how she would talk back to an authority figure. Etc. etc. My advice is to rethink some of the rants Nike has in this chapter, and scrap the things that sound too forced, and keep the things that are subtly funny/cynical. You could always skim the chapter over and leave little tidbits of cynicism here or there.

My next comment is about Nike herself. She sounds a bit like a Mary-Sue character. She is "cynical" (most Mary-Sues are), she seems to be rich (with her driving a Jaguar and everything), she gets good grades without even trying (said to her by Alanna), she makes people laugh (See: Devon), she's applying to Yale and Harvard. Among these very good qualities, I don't see any bad qualities. Where are her flaws? Where are her imperfections? Nike, thus far, in my opinion, is just (I'm sorry to say) boringly perfect. A few good problems would spice things up a bit.

Next is the grammar and punctuation-I've seen worse, but the story is still sprinkled with its mistakes. You should edit this.

In terms of the chapter itself-good introduction to the main character, not enough for supporting characters like Lex and Alanna, and definitely not for James. I would've like to have seen more of that particular event (of him hitching a ride), and her thoughts about it. I mean...it *is* the title of the chapter, is it not?

Also, for a first chapter, this chapter was a bit long. Maybe a little too long. It was difficult for me to get through it. Maybe you should split this up into two chapters instead?

That's all for now. I hope you don't get discouraged by my words of CC; you definitely have a knack for writing, and you should definitely continue this story and update. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions regarding my review.

-McQuinn
7/9/2007 c1 2CarlyJo
Seems like a fairly decent story. I can't wait to see where this goes. Update Soon!

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