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8

I like this idea, actually. I'd straighten it up just a little: She was tired, like a bug crawling and skipping off and on the height of a wall together with something else that wasn’t exactly the opposite of the sort of idea, sort of laughing but not really meaning it particularly because when it was time to throw the street under the most medium lightning ...


6

What strikes me most about your excerpt is that you're speaking in vague generalities, which on their own feel somewhat bombastic. "People have given up," there is "an unarticulated notion of defeat," and "they [i.e. everybody] has overestimated themselves." That's a sweeping, bombastic statement, and without shoring it up with some actual detail to support ...


5

I agree with Lauren. I like the concept a lot. It is a very difficult balance to try to use a unique literary device like purposefully garbled inner-dialog while remaining invisible as the author. If you're too obvious it feels out of place, but if you're too subtle then it just looks like sloppy writing. It's a bold move for sure. I can think of a ...


4

I am not a fan of these "denoting something by describing that which does not exist" techniques, e.g.: "Yes," he said, unsmiling. The silence was very loud. etc. While it does say something, I feel it is left too much to the imagination. Certainly it can be used in specific cases, but as a general rule, only to create that specific feeling of ...


3

Evidently you have clear ideas about what you want the essay to accomplish, and a reasonably good understanding of what you are writing about. Your revised essay probably reaches most of the goals you set. However, it seems rather wordy to me. If you trim away empty phrases, you will improve the essay's readability and at the same time make room for more ...


3

In all honesty, it doesn't work for me. To address your particular questions: Is it dark? Not especially. I get a sense of someone not being sure where they are, but not being in a sinister place. More like having woken up after a drunken night, and trying to remember the last bar. Does it flow? Not IMO. I am reminded of the old text-based Adventure games ...


3

Get someone else to read the story and point out the sections that would require more fleshing out. As the author your perception of the text is tainted with the imagination of the scene. Things that appear obvious to you may be entirely unclear for the reader. The talent to forget what you know and read the story you wrote as if you'd have read it the first ...


3

I think the effect is absolutely worth working toward, but I'm not sure you're working in the right direction. The excerpt you gave, for me, felt stimulating rather than lulling. The first sentence was frustrating ('tossed at her' made me think the brain was tossing (like tossing and turning) in response to the voices) so my brain was on edge, and then the ...


3

Focus on the effect you are trying to create in the reader. Maybe the most important of those is the emotional impact you are trying to create. Then: Choose the details that help to create that emotional impact. What details would help us to understand the character better? To understand what the character wants, and why it's so important to them? To ...


2

I have faced the same problem. Going to professional editors/critique groups didn't help, as they all want you to rewrite the story as they would. Which is why you get scenes that spend a whole paragraph describing what the character wears. Here's what worked for me. Imagine you are standing in the scene in your novel. Describe the scene as your main ...


2

It's not particularly dark. There's so much unknown that we don't even know if we're supposed to worry. A strip club which is so old it feels like it's populated with antiques isn't particularly dark or scary; it means nobody's there, so there are no threats. It also doesn't imply that everyone disappeared or dropped dead abruptly (which would at least be ...


2

First off, I don't like the first sentence: Outside my window you can make out the figures of people who have simply given up. The my works to reveal the narrator's "ego fixations" – but why is that followed with a you? "Make out" reads awkwardly simplistic. And why "figures of people" and not just "people"? Then, the rest of the paragraph seems too ...


2

First impression: The sentences are too long winded. Comma, comma, comma. The worst one begins with "Among this new wave". You can really use more than three sentences per paragraph. Break the sentences apart. That enhances clarity. I wouldn't use the iceberg metaphor. First it's overused, second it is normally used to show negative things ("The government ...


2

I will lead off by saying that I like the passage as written, but I feel it conveys a very different character from the one you describe that you want. The character you have written, as I see it, first comes across as arrogant and pompous as he describes the uninspired, defeated losers he is watching, and then hints that he might have experienced something ...


1

Flatten the scope - you are attributing personality to the people he sees, but the words imply they have none. Also focus on the self-obsession of the narrator ( as per @J.R. ). Just my suggestion for re-working it: "Outside my window I make out figures who have simply given up. They glance in the bathroom mirror and are met with defeat. ...


1

To make it dark, you would have to focus more on the atmosphere. Something about Julian's surroundings or something about your style of describing his situation has to suggest that darkness. Stay in the scene for a bit longer. When Julian is outside: Are there shadows forming around him, expanding and flowing into mysterious shapes? What about the fog? ...



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