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I have this excerpt I'm not sure is fluid and visual enough:

Peter came out of the café rubbing his tummy. The chipmunk had a smile on the face and seemed content.

Not too far behind him was Ariett, flapping her wings just enough to remain airborne and humming a tune until her gaze fell onto the nearby commotion, near the village's treehouse.

Peter stopped as well, when he realised that Ariett was no more following. "Is something wrong?" When Peter looked at Ariett, he followed the direction she was pointing to and saw the little crowd near the Rescuer tree house. Furrowing his brows, he approached the group.

From where he was, Peter could not really see what was going on, nor who was speaking, but his ears twitched when he could hear the voice of the speaker more clearly. He immediately squeezed his way through the crowd and gasped when he could finally match the voice with the owner of the voice.

"Are you really sure he's trapped in the boneyard?" the voice would say.

"What's going on?" Ariett whispered to Peter.

He whispered back to the sparrow, trying to listen what was being talked about at the same time. "This... the squirrel who's talking is Chill, he's a former guild leader and something's definitely up."

By the time Peter finished, Chill was already on the way out of the village, and several others were following him. The chipmunk promptly got on all fours and followed suit. "Come! It's perhaps a new rescue mission!"

For example, I have this line, and the more I read it, the more I feel like it could be phrased better and be more visual than it is. Here's the sentence:

When Peter looked at Ariett, he followed the direction she was pointing to and saw the little crowd near the tree house.

This sentence seems perfectly fine, but I don't know, I feel like it could be edited to be better (I'm no native speaker, so I'm not sure if that might be a factor). Maybe it's the fact that I omitted that Peter actually saw her pointing a certain direction? I could split it into two sentences, like so:

Peter looked at Ariett and the latter was pointing to some direction. When he followed her finger, he saw the little crowd near the tree house.

That one sounds even worse to me as in 'there's too much to say the same thing'. ._.

My question I think is: How can I make this excerpt more visual (show vs tell) and flow better?

I believe I'm not strong with implied things and sometimes even take too much implied, or out of fear that I implied too much, I write too much to convey the same thing. I always saw those things like some sort of movie in my head, but I think I struggle to reproduce it in writing and would like to know how I'm faring, and ways to improve. I'm grateful for answers providing something constructive, but I'll be focusing mostly on making this excerpt more visual (maybe synonymous to show vs tell).

PS: I cannot add the critique tag since I currently require 9 more points...

EDIT: How about this edited version?

Peter came out of the café rubbing his tummy. The chipmunk had a smile on the face and was smacking his lips. It was a good day to start off; the sun was up and the warmth was welcoming. He would probably be able to train with the master some more today. Things had been quiet lately and he knew that some good practice would do him good.

Not too far behind him was Ariett, flapping her wings just enough to remain airborne and humming a tune until her gaze fell onto the nearby commotion, near the village's tree house.

Peter was thinking about new things he could learn today from the master when he felt something was wrong and stopped. He couldn't hear Ariett anymore, which was unusual of her. "Is something wrong?" He turned around to find that Ariett was pointing to a little crowd near the Rescuer's headquarters. Furrowing his brows, the chipmunk approached the group.

From where he was, he could not really see what was going on, nor who was speaking, but his ears twitched when he could hear the voice of the speaker more clearly. His heartbeat picking up, he immediately squeezed his way through the crowd and gasped when he could finally match the voice with its owner.

"Stop asking everyone! Just stop! We need to just get going! Gunpowder's in trouble, c'mon!" the voice said. As if he had said something forbidden, a roar of confused chatter spread among the crowd.

"Uh... But Gunpowder's a Rogue... Do we really..." someone in the crowd said.

"What's going on?" Ariett whispered to Peter.

He whispered back to the sparrow, trying to listen at the same time. "This... the squirrel who's talking is Chill, he's a former guild leader and something's definitely up."

"What does that have to do with anything!?" Chill asked. "You don't just pick and choose who needs help! Dude, that's not cool!". He brought out something like a steel feather out of a bag Peter noticed only now and seemed to set off. "Time to haul tail, guys. Now! Chex, lead the way!"

"Squeak!"

"I wonder what's that thing he pulled out... Could that be a new artifact?" Peter asked.

"Who cares about it?" Ariett said, rolling her eyes. "I don't like the sound of where it is going, but let me tell you that— Hey!"

Peter was already on his way, following the other Pokemon out of the village. As far as he knew, Gunpowder wasn't the weak type and this mission, should it be one, could very well be difficult. All the same, his determination as Rescuer wouldn't be deterred the least.

share|improve this question
    
Jerry, I'm afraid that requests to rephrase or critique very small amounts of text are firmly off-topic here. –  Neil Fein Apr 23 '13 at 18:26
    
@NeilFein I'm sorry!? I thought that we are not allowed to ask for critiques on long excerpts!? I quote: *Only one or two sentences can be asked to re-phrase, do not ask us to re-write your entire paper or book. –  Jerry Apr 23 '13 at 18:33
    
I think you've misunderstood; my link above is a proposal that the community downvoted and disagreed with on meta. Our critique guidelines are here. –  Neil Fein Apr 23 '13 at 18:40
    
@NeilFein I was really led astray with that link you posted above because I immediately jumped to 'Suggested guidelines...'. Okay, I re-read the FAQ again and fail to see where something like my question is off-topic. Anyway, if I edit it to be more of a critique, would my question be eligible to be re-opened? –  Jerry Apr 23 '13 at 18:48
1  
@DavidAldridge I'm trying to target something like a children's book, maybe something between children and YA? –  Jerry Apr 24 '13 at 11:01

3 Answers 3

up vote 1 down vote accepted

You are very concise, precise, sterile in your writing, and I see you are asking the correct question to make this text better. If your text was a dish, it would be well cooked but rather dry and in need of a good sauce.

What is missing here are more emotions. You are reporting events in a very soldier-like manner. The sentence you asked about is a good example of that.

Peter turned to Ariett, who stood motionless in the middle of the street, focused on something in the distance and ignoring all the surroundings. His own gaze followed to the source of her attention.

There was a little crowd near the tree house.

Try to lube it up by more, stronger displays of emotion, attaching meaning to the events. In your story things happen but I go by them with a shrug, "so they happened, so what now?" - give them a sense of foreboding, make them more interesting to the characters, draw the reader in. Immersion is important, and for that the world must feel more alive.

One trick I can suggest for increasing immersion: If there's a story within a story, and the inside story is at least partially immersive, the moment of ending the inner story and "resurfacing" to the upper layer leaves us very much immersed in it. This is a golden opportunity to deliver some quite enjoyable content. In your case you could try to report a major part of the speech under the tree literally, and then the "Come! It's perhaps a new rescue mission!" (or something like that, maybe rephrased to more catchy form) should ring very well, as a sweet, juicy one-liner.

oh, and you overuse names a bit. Use more pronouns. "He", "She".

share|improve this answer
    
Thanks for the critique, I really appreciate it! I tried to add emotions, with what I hoped were some actions which lead to some emotions, but I must have failed! I brought some more content so maybe that works at least a little? I added a revised version, if you could please have a look at it. I also changed some things I think might make it more interesting. For pronouns, I think I tried to make sure the readers don't get lost for who is doing what. Let me know! For the part under the tree, they were supposed to be a bit late to hear everything and more explanation is supposed to come later. –  Jerry Apr 24 '13 at 19:34
1  
@Jerry: It did work - but it wasn't enough. Currently it's much more immersive. There's a little continuity break between where Chill is just a voice behind the crowd and when Peter can see him taking the steel feather, but the piece rings in a quite satisfactory way to me. –  SF. Apr 25 '13 at 7:32
    
Thanks! Could you perhaps elaborate on what I could do to make it even more immersive, like, what I didn't do enough of? -- As for the continuity break, I intended to mean that when Peter "matches the voice with its owner", he was close enough to see Chill (implied things again!). What do you suggest me to do to remove this discontinuity? –  Jerry Apr 25 '13 at 17:13
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I could but this is not a subject for answering in a comment under an answer. I suggest you phrase this as a full question and post as such for all to answer. "What literary tools can I use to make my writing more immersive?" or such. Fixing continuity mistakes will be probably one of the points of my answer if you do. –  SF. Apr 25 '13 at 23:23
    
Okay, I will then. Thank you :) –  Jerry Apr 26 '13 at 8:56

Various grammatical issues, with suggestions below ...

he realised that Ariett was no more following

"he realised that Ariett was no longer following" or "he realised that Ariett was not following"

"Are you really sure he's trapped in the boneyard?" the voice would say.

""Are you really sure he's trapped in the boneyard?" the voice said."

trying to listen what was being talked about at the same time

"trying to listen at the same time"

Chill was already on the way out of the village

"Chill was already on his way out of the village" or "Chill was already leaving the village"

It's perhaps a new rescue mission!"

"Perhaps it's a new rescue mission!"

share|improve this answer
    
Thanks for pointing out the mistakes! I'm really not that used to the language as I would have liked to, right? xP –  Jerry Apr 24 '13 at 19:33
    
Are you looking to find a publisher for this work? –  David Aldridge Apr 26 '13 at 8:50
    
Oh no, that's for my own thank you :) Writing is a hobby for me, but I still want to do it better. Just maybe someday! –  Jerry Apr 26 '13 at 8:57

Peter looked where Ariett was pointing and saw the little crowd near the treehouse.

If we're in Peter's head in this scene, we can also do this:

Ariett was pointing at the little crowd near the treehouse.

If we're in Peter's head, we know that these are his observations. So we know he's looking at Ariett and then at where she's pointing.

share|improve this answer
    
Do you think it works if Peter was walking ahead of Ariett before that sentence came to be? As a side note, I think I should have added some context. I just added it in my OP. –  Jerry Apr 23 '13 at 17:59
    
If we've established that he is not looking at her, we'll have to get him to look at her first. An easy way: "Peter turned. Ariett was pointing..." –  Dale Emery Apr 23 '13 at 18:02
    
In general, if we're in a character's head, we don't have to say "he sees." We can just describe things in a visual way, and the reader will know it's coming from what the character sees. And sometimes you can drop "he looked." The reader can usually figure out that if the character sees something, he's looking at it. But sometimes you have to make him look. –  Dale Emery Apr 23 '13 at 18:04
    
Thank you for the more in-depth explanation! :) I'll leave the question open for about 24 hours and see other reactions/answers before picking one. –  Jerry Apr 23 '13 at 18:12

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