ENG 2D 2014: Short Story Feedback

Your goal is to incorporate my feedback into the final version of your short story. You have this period to work on your draft; please make sure that you read the feedback carefully. Remember to cross reference it with the items listed below:

MY NOTE WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT
tense change Tense change means that you wrote some of your sentences in the past (John moved quickly through the halls) and some in the present (As he turns the corner, John bumps into his most hated teacher).Either one is fine, but you can’t mix them. Make a choice and stick to it.
(fs) or fused sentence A fused sentence is actually two sentences that have been “fused” together without proper punctuation or connecting words. Watch the fused sentence video here. Once you understand fused sentences, eliminate them from your short story.
(cs) or comma splices A comma splice occurs when a writer does not include a connecting word (conjunction) to show the relationship between two clauses. Look for the comma splices video here. Once you understand comma splices, eliminate them from you short story.
dialogue on separate lines Whenever a new character speaks, put the character’s words on a new line.“But why, Mr. Pedrech?” asked the confused student at the back of the room.“Because it makes your dialogue easier to read,” replied Mr. Pedrech.

“So what?” scoffed another student. “People can still read my dialogue in paragraphs!”

“True, but..”

“But what?”

“True,” replied the teacher calmly, “but dialogue is much easier to read when it is in its proper form. Like this.”

See what I did there, ladies and gents?

Show Don’t Tell If I wrote “show don’t tell” next to a section of your story, that section tells the reader the plot instead of showing the reader the plot.Instead of saying that Judy was shocked by the news, try Judy stood motionless, her jaw agape as she listened to the news. Instead of telling me that John killed a zombie with a shovel, try Instinctively, John reached for the closest object he could find. A shovel. Swinging with all of his might, John drove the shovel’s blade deep into the Zombie’s skull.
Dialogue? If I wrote “dialogue” next to a chunk of text, you should consider using dialogue to convey the section’s action.This is particularly important in stories where something emotional or tense is happening. It is much easier to let the character’s words–and the way they convey those words–do the work for you.
Verb choices (said) “Said” is fairly neutral verb. Take a look at these options; does one of the options suit your character’s emotions?

  • screamed
  • scoffed
  • argued
  • pleaded
  • murmured
  • complained

In fact, why not consult this great list of verbs that can replace said? Just make sure you know exactly what the verb means.

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