I Dispense Bile
This is comment critique courtesy of the writers club.
Your story is frustrating for several reasons. Knit-picky, glaringly bad, long-winded, and ill-informed reasons. There are two kinds of writing here and one them is kind of good and the other terrible.
The parts where your writing is the best is when Erin is alone. It is flighty and mythirical. There is no desire to know more about the world because it makes the reader want to know more about the girl. The narration has an consistent understanding of the world that the reader can understand. It makes the audience more interested. It still is plagued by the technical but still important issues, from which, the entire peace suffers.
They way you refer to her is frustrating. You are allowed to refer to her as “a girl” or “the girl” until you reveal her name. From the point of her name, you call her Erin or she/her. You hang on to the girl description for no reason in the time when you should be painting more of this character. Maybe then she would be more interesting than disappointing.
My biggest problem with Erin is she has two settings. Scared or bewildered. Scared! Bewildered! This is frustrating because women are more than lost or crying things. You don’t establish a purpose or motivation for her. So, the only point to her is to get scared and faint, which is stupid.
The Annoying but necessary part.
A sentence. A sentence is a thought. A single statement. There is a subject and a predicate. There are exceptions, lists, artistic emphasis or poetic pacing, and clauses that make sentences longer and more complicated but using too many together is a bad idea and you don’t really do that, anyway. You separate sentences with commas, everywhere. Everywhere! Every paragraph, if not, sentence is packed with multiple sentences.
Tense and Narration. You jump around in your tense and muddle the voice of where your narrator is coming from and is supposed to know. It is clear that you are going for past tense. So, stick to past tense. No more “ing” words. You use week words in your narration. As if, you don’t know what is going on.
It is wordy. You have complete sentences but don’t put them into sentences. You have words that are meaningless, unnecessary, or redundant.
Capitalize the beginning of sentences.
The best and most immediate way of making the peace better as a whole is to find the “Erin turned the corner onto the street where her apartment[.][delete everything until,] [She] glanced at the closed gates of the park[.]” Then, starting from the “but,” Highlight everything up to Erin’s dream that starts “She was standing…” Don’t highlight any of the dream. Press delete.
It is terrible. There is nothing worth saving in it. There isn’t a firm grasp or description on what is happening. The characters behave stupidly and it is all very badly written. Example:
“I don’t know where else to take her, I have no idea where she lives, Master Ryuu will know what to do I’m sure” Alastair nodded, knowing that his master would know what to do, he always did seem to know what to do.
That is what you wrote. You have it as one sentence. I cut off the end because it was more suck and I was going to cut it off anyway. Oh please tell me you see this coming. There is a bunch of fucking nouns there. Here is my proofed version.
“I don’t know where else to take her[.] I have no idea where she lives[.] Master Ryuu will know what to do I’m sure[.]” Alastair nodded, knowing that his master would know what to do[.] [H]e always did seem to know what to do.
That is slightly better. Five sentences. Five. The entire peace is like this, with commas separating nouns and predicates where there should be periods. All of my notes start with “why oh God am I still reading this but…” This is my favorite example because there is so much wrong with it.
Out of five sentences, three of them convey that their leader will know what to do. The only thing worse would be stating in one sentence that someone knows what to do, three times. Then, the rest of the paragraph continues to argue that the leader knows what to do. There is blood on my desk.
This only gets worse. I continue to rip apart this section that I want you to kill. So, you can focus on the good part of the story.
You don’t know how to refer to, and keep track of, people in an understandable way. There are bad details used often. Hair color and constantly comparing height is not something people actively do to tell others apart.
You don’t know how bad people act. There is a group of men walking out of a park at night. They laughing and being loud. They evolve (in a bad way) and eventually they are called mobsters. There is no reason to any of it. Drinking in the park? Where they partying with the homeless? They then get aggressive. She ends up in an alley despite being close to her building. (She needs a rape whistle, mace or something. No one has no protection in a city.) They grow a leader for no reason and then the leader does all the work for no reason and there is a lot of time wasted where they choke her instead of taking off anyone’s pants. Apparently, he is trying to jack-off her neck. The leader charges? Lackeys fight, always. If there is a leader they let the underlings do the heavy lifting. The leader goes down and then the rest stay and fight for no reason. The haven’t been provoked in any way. There is no point in trying to win. They know they are out numbered. If they do win, then what? Will they then rape the girl surrounded by bodies?
When confronted, the bad guys, that were just wondering around laughing and decided to attack a girl because she was easy prey, stand their ground for no reason. When someone points a gun, it is a big deal. Guns are big deals. If you have a character facing anyone with a gun, they need a reason to fight and risk their lives. In case you haven’t figured it out, the chance to rape is not a life-risking reason. Police and anyone trained with guns, never shoot for the leg or head. Those are both narrow, thin targets. There is too great of a chance of the bullet missing or going through the target then hitting someone. If a police officer is charged, gun drawn, they are trained to shoot for the solid mass, that is the human chest, until the target stops charging.
You don’t know about guns. Every gunshot wound is potentially fatal. You know that red stuff that is all over your body? At close range that guy’s leg is going to get wrecked. The bullet will go through the leg. There will be an exit wound the size of a door knob. There are a lot of blood that travels through a person’s leg. The blood would pool around him. There is no, being slung over someone’s shoulder and carried off like a rag doll without any serious medical attention.
You don’t know police act. It turns out they aren’t police but that is still no good reason to have them appear, then pick their noses and not know what to do. Oh good, they are just idiots. It makes the reader think that you don’t know what to do. Since they are mercenaries, who is paying them? Why are they appearing in empty streets? Why are they sadistically shooting people in the legs.
You don’t know rape. Being raped is a big deal. Going through the day people exercise control choosing what to eat, where to go, what to do, who to talk to are within that person’s control. All control disappears during rape. There is a person in your personal space, exploiting your most private of areas, for an amount of time that is terrible and feels like eternity. For rape victims, their lives are dissected. There is their life before and after the time when they were raped. It is terrible and ugly.
None of it matters to your character. Erin is the only part of this story worth saving. She needs to grow. She isn’t affected by almost being raped or the awkward and lame rescue. There is already the issue of her parents leaving and the motivations and reasons behind that to explore. Even almost being raped is traumatic and would overshadow the emotional mystery that you have already laid out. The best part of your story is you and Erin. No one writes six thousand words arbitrarily. I think her story needs to be explored but the mercenary bit needs to be killed.