Vision: A Resource for Writers
Lazette Gifford, Editor
Vision@sff.net

Anatomy of a Critique

By Chelley Parks
2003, Chelley Parks

 

Editor's note: 

I came across this wonderful little piece as a post at the Critter's Volcano Bar and Grill on sff.net and immediately asked if it could be printed in Vision. Enjoy...

Zette

 

Ann smiled as the sun sank over the Montana horizon. Feeling tired, Ann sat wearily on a bale of hay. Watching the horses graze in the distance, she sighed.

**(This sentence isn't necessary and too flowery for the theme of the story.)

<author snips>

Feeling tired Ann sat wearily on a bale of hay. Watching the horses graze in the distance, she sighed.

**Take out ing words. It's not necessary to know that she sighed. Too many details clutter the story.

<snips>

Tired, Ann sat wearily on a bale of hay, watching the horses graze in the distance.

**Take out ly word.

<snips>

Tired, Ann sat on a bale of hay, and watched the horses graze in the distance.

**'Ed words makes it passive.

<snips>

Tired, sat on a bale of hay to watch the horses craze in the distance.

**Who sat on a bale of hay? Why are the horses craze? Should that be crazed?

(Author grumbles over fumble fingers during editing.)

Tired, Ann sat on a bale of hay to watch the horses graze in the distance.

**Why was Ann tired? She wasn't in the prior sentence. Why did you take the part out about the sun? I thought it was pretty.

<snips>

Ann sat on a bale of hay to watch the horses graze in the distance.

**Can't you pick a better verb than sat?

<snips>

Ann sank onto a bale of hay to watch the horses graze in the distance.

**There's too much horse related stuff. Not every one knows about horses.

<snips>

Ann sank onto the ground to watch the distance.

**By the way it should be Ann sank *to* the ground.

<snips>

 Ann sank to the ground.

**Why? What does the ground have to do with horses?

<snips>

Ann sank.

**How'd she get in the water? I thought she was in Montana. Illogical leap of scene switching.

 **Perfect. Noun and verb. Bravo.

 **Your writing is too sparse, plump it out a bit.

 **you have little or no punctuation in your sentence.

 **poor scene setting and character development. I know nothing about Ann other than she can't swim.

Ann smiled as the sun sank over the Montana horizon. Feeling tired, Ann sat wearily on a bale of hay. Watching the horses graze in the distance, she sighed.

**Where's Montana? --  

Bio:

I am a self employed writer from Michigan. I do a little free lance editing and a lot of exploration of the absurd.