Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
( you don't need this to indicate a flashback, it should be done through the words
I stood there in my room, peering down the hallway at the front door, where I saw my mother speaking with a man wearing a uniform and my Uncle Scott. I didn't understand what they were saying since I was too young, but when I saw my mother gasp and cover her mouth, a look of terror flitter across her face, I knew it was bad. Both my mother and the man exchanged a few more words, and then he left with a look of regret on his face.
Two main things:
First of all, the beginning is way to rushed. Try to start with something that indicates it was a flashback from the get-go, but don't rush like this.
Second, try to use better word choice. Thesauruses exist for a reason. Instead of 'terror' (which indicates fear, not sadness) try something like 'anguish' or 'forlornness'.
Make use of the skills you learned from English class, about writing poetry. Use similes, metaphors, even repetition .
Try to give it some interesting aspects and foreshadowing. For example, something like "I saw the shadow of a tall man and the glint of army medals. His suit blended in with the foliage of our yard, and everything seemed foggy as the sobs of my mother bled into the background noise." When people are older, even if a memory was vacant or simple they tend to exaggerate or go into detail anyways.

As soon as the door closed, my mother slowly walked over to the couch with shaky steps, sat down, threw her head into her hands, and burst into tears. My Uncle Scott remained standing, a sad expression on his face. Then, I knew that it really was bad.

Curiosity got the better of me and I walked down the hallway to the sofa to my mother, fear tugging at my heart since I was eight and I didn't know what was going on.

"Mommy, why was that man here? Why are you crying? What happened?", I asked her curiously. She looked up, tears streaming down her face, and she hugged me close and tight, as if she never wanted to let go, and she resumed her sobbing. After a few minutes of crying into my shoulder, she finally pulled away and faced me with her hands on my shoulders.
Try to use better word choice. Take things more slowly, one step at a time. Fiction should be fluid but not rushed.
What she said that day changed my life forever.
^This kind of thing is way overused in fics about dark pasts and the like.
She opened her mouth, saying-)<-see what I said at the start.

"Ahh!", I shouted, sitting up in bed, my breath coming out rapidly in a panic. After a few minutes of panting, I managed to calm down and shut off my alarm clock next to me. I realized that I had a few tears on my face and I buried my head into my hands, shaking my head shamefully.
Overall this paragraph was dull and drab. "I shouted , sitting up in bed." You can do better than that, man, c'mon. This isn't middle school. Give it emotion! Make words express actions to their full extent! "I cried out in terror as I shot up in bed like a rocket, on the verge of a panic attack."

"Agh, not again", I groaned to myself. I had been having that nightmare again every night for the past week. I really didn't understand why it was happening, and what it meant that it was coming back now out of all times.
I probably sound like that bitchy English teacher you hated, but once again- this is somewhat dull. To write well you've got to exaggerate, and act like it's a painting or a piece or music, it's something that can be played with- don't just use those first grade sentences, don't use those first grade words. C'mon, man.
I looked up at the calendar next to me. Today was August 5th, the day that, the terrible thing happened in my life. When my father was officially declared as dead after he was reported missing from an overseas expedition.
Don't tell everything to the reader, let them infer things, you don't have to be specific about every detail, you don't even have to tell the reader what day it is. You can be vague to give it some interest, like... "It was the anniversary of the hellish day, the day everything in my life seemed to go to chaos and tear itself apart." The reader can also inference some things if you make it clear what happened (that he was probably KIA) in the flashback/dream sequence.
Sighing, I sat up and got out of bed, crossing my room to the bathroom, where I locked the door, took my pajamas-navy blue shorts and light blue t-shirt-off, along with the rest of my clothes, and I stepped into the shower. I turned on the water and washed myself, the cold water cooling me down and helping me relax.
Shower relaxation scenes are a bit cliché too... if you've heard it before... avoid it! That's the #1 rule of writing something, especially fanfics.
Ah, showers are always so refreshing.

After my shower, I dried myself off, went back to my room, and changed into my usual clothes-light blue t-shirt with a white fish on the front, my navy blue shorts, and my socks-and picked up my dog tags lying on my night table. Putting them on, I held them close to my chest, closed my eyes, and bowed my head.
If we already know who the character is from pictures, etc., excessive detail about things like wardrobe is not necessary except about the things of importance, like the dog tags.
"Please be with me today, grandfather. May I live today to honor both you and dad"

I walked over to my closet and examined myself in the mirror. I managed to smile to myself, as I did look nice.
Okay, for some reason this whole getting ready sequence is dragging on far too long for me. It's starting to bore me.

"Relax, Alex. There's no reason to worry, it was just a nightmare"' I said to myself. I walked over to my desk and looked at the small tank with a goldfish inside of it, swimming by the glass as if trying to examine me. I smiled and knelt down until my face was level with the fish.

"Oh, its nothing, Bennett. Just another pointless nightmare. But I'm good now"', I said. Both Bennett and I stared at each other until after a few seconds, he blinked. I couldnt help but giggle.
So..he's talking... to his fish...? I don't really get this scene, but okay. At least it's something kind of interesting and quirky. However, I personally try to avoid talking to fish aloud and risk sounding crazy. XD
Its always cute when my pet fish blinks.
What...? Lions and cheetahs and bears blink too. They're really cute.
I blink, does that make me cute? *flutters eyelashes*/ shot
Due the the critic being shot this side note is now ending. XD

He opened his mouth as if he were going to say something, but I looked at my watch and nearly jumped when I saw what time it was.
So now the fish is going to talk back 0.o? Kidding, but I think the whole kid-late-for-something thing is a little overused.
"8:37 AM? I'd better hurry if I want to help Marie and Thomas with their new project today!", I exclaimed to myself, running to the door.
Don't need to be specific there. Just having him jump at the time and rush off is enough. The way he talks to himself seems kind of... forced and awkward.

I stopped when I heard a small beeping noise and a slight sucking sound. I turned around to see if there was anything behind me. There was nothing, and everything was the same as it was before. I didn't see Bennett, but he must have swam into the little castle inside his tank. I shrugged and ran into the kitchen to get some breakfast, where I nearly ran into my mother.
This one's actually...too vague, I'm freaking confused now...what the hell was that? You're supposed to leave the reader asking questions, but not leave them like "Where the hell did that come from out of nowhere? Wtf was that?"
Just a side not, this next section was rushed, I can forgot a few apostrophes, added some extra commas and that sort of thing xD Don't rush so much near the end, man!

"Whoa, Alex! You're certainly excited today!", she laughed. I laughed back.

"Sorry, mom, but I was going over to Marie's house to hang out with her, Thomas, and Jasmine". Instantly, a picture of the three of them popped up in my mind, but Jasmine was surrounded by hearts. I couldn't deny it, she was so bea-

Wait, wait a second, what was I thinking? I shook my head to clear it and my mom laughed.
Wha..? Just a note; moms know a lot but they can't read minds xDD
Sheesh, these two sure do laugh a lot. It's kind of awkward in a real situation. Like...
HI. Hahaha.
Oh hi. Hahahah
It's like... whoaaa, awkward much.

"Alright, Alex. Be sure you're back by dinnertime, okay?"

"Always am, mom", I said, running for the door, but stopped when I heard my mom clear her throat.
It's not really something to be embarrassed about.. I forget breakfast all the time. Toast is his favorite? I don't know, that could be a bit more interesting. Like there could be something interesting on the toast. Also, I've seen the whole "Mom gives kid toast and kid runs out door with toast in his mouth because he's late thing" everywhere. I must've seen it a million times, please please please avoid these clichés. TT-TT This fic has potential but clichés ruin everything! Everything! Srsly O^O Avoid them at all costs. Avoid them like the freaking plague. Avoid it like you would avoid Irving.I probably wouldn't though because i actually kind of like the little freak lol
"Are you forgetting something?", she asked, holding out two slices of toast. My favorite! Blushing, I took the slices of toast from her. Gee, Alex. You're nearly thirteen years old, and you forget something as simple as toast.
The way he talks and scolds himself in his head seems kind of out of place and in a way it's almost creeping me out...
"Thanks, mom! See you later!", I called, running out of the front door.

I couldnt wait to see what Marie, Thomas, and Jasmine were doing today!
Eek, an exclamation mark. *shudder* Rule #2 of writing stories: Exclamations are okay in the dialogue where he's talking to his mom, but it's another thing you should avoid at all costs anywhere else. People don't really talk all excited to themselves like that in their heads, I mean, Try to, doesn't it feel awkward? See what I mean?

Overall it was okay, but a bit lacking in the word choice department, and far too many clichés. It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't particularly interesting. Spice it up a bit or something.
I get where this is going, but it's kind of simplistic and generic. To be honest, If this were a book and I read the first three-four pages and it was like this, I probably wouldn't buy it. You just need a lot of practice writing and I think you'll figure things out.  For now though, I don't see this fic catching a lot of fan attention either. Don't be afraid to add just a little bit of suspense or something.  Just... don't set your bar so low, you need to really concentrate on what you writing or it's going to be pretty bland. However, I think if you try hard enough you can improve this through the next few chapters. Ah, but I'll have to see how you did on the other chapters, you might have improved since this.
Yeah I said, I'm doing sporks and stuff now some, obviously that's not all I'm going to post.

I try to be helpful rather than harsh in my sporks. But y'know.
I don't know if I'm really cut out for sporking, I'm a little too soft-hearted ^^;

Ah shit, I think more of this is actually my sidenotes than it is his fanfiction... I write too much XDD

Oh yeah. This spork was requested by Mattpwnsall, who is also the writer of this fanfiction, "Return of A Father." This is the first chapter.
Add a Comment:
Mattpwnsall Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2012  Student Artist
Thanks for this :D

Honestly, my word choice is bad, as in I cant think of ways to better word it, that is just how I write :'D

Maybe you could help me revise it? I have to fix it sometime anyway xD
FucshiaWillow Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Just... read a dictionary or something, lol. When you write it just go back and look it over or something.

I've done pretty much all I can do for helping with revisions here, anymore and I'll be writing it for you xD
Mattpwnsall Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2012  Student Artist
I did and it looked alright :'D

Lol, you might as well, my writing sucks despite all my practice xD
FucshiaWillow Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Nah, it doesn't suck, it just... currently sucks. You're letting it suck. It'll get better if you try hard enough, since your writing is redeemable if you practice some, y'know, it won't suck anymore. xD
Mattpwnsall Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2012  Student Artist
I know, I'm trying, but my classes get in the way :'D
Add a Comment:

:iconfucshiawillow: More from FucshiaWillow

More from DeviantArt


Submitted on
October 21, 2012
File Size
11.5 KB


2 (who?)