Hey there. My name is Ed, and I’m from #GrammarNaziCritiques.
First off, I think this piece does have potential. I haven’t read the piece I assume is before it, (Angel Eyes 1-1?) so I can only offer my opinion on what I read here. And yes, it is only my opinion so it’s up to you what you take from it
Some specific notes/comments:
-“Elizabeth had offered to let Autre stay with her until he was positive he was up to going back home.”
I’m not sure who the ‘he’s are in this sentence. Isn’t Elizabeth a she?
-“Autre had immediately turned the offer down, but took it up when she "offered" to have him help around during his stay.”
Can you change the double quotes to single, since you mainly use double for speech? It makes it clearer for the reader.
Also, you repeat ‘offer’ and it makes it confusing because on a first read I thought you were just explaining the same thing twice.
-“He now lay staring at the ceiling of the room he had awoken in earlier.”
Tense changes. ‘He was laying and staring at the ceiling of the room he awoke in earlier.’
-“…he could begin to reason with them; (lower case w)hy hadn't Cain simply killed him?”
If you’re using a semicolon, you don’t need a capital.
-“Restless, Autre began to pace the room. Anthony Vestero had been his mortal name and now he was with the mortal he had sacrificed himself to save. Why had he been banished here? Had Cain done this intentionally to cause him to falter, or was it merely a fluke? And even then, what are the odds that Autre would once again cross paths with this mortal, whom he had already saved? None of it made any sense.”
Out of all, this paragraph seems less structured. The thoughts don’t seem to follow. Why does it matter what his ‘mortal name’ was? How does that link in? You repeat yourself slightly too.
-Careful of using Autre’s name too much. Consider using ‘he’ occasionally. If you search through and highlight them, you can see where there are dense areas of his name.
-“Taking in a deep breath, Autre thought on his wings.”
Do you mean ‘thought about’ or ‘thought of’? Unless he sitting and thinking physically on his wings?
-Watch out for telling, rather than showing. You directly ‘tell’ us a lot of the information about asgard and the creatures that live there. It makes it feel like a factfile. Try and ‘show’ us this information instead. It takes longer, usually, but it’s more rewarding in the end for the reader.
-“…hid distinguishing features of magical beings on while in Midgard…”
What? Is the ‘on’ a typo?
-“A dark mist had begun to form on the roof around Autre, which
‘and’ suggests a chronological sequence of events. As you state it so far, you say:
‘A dark mist is beginning to form and it climbs up his back’
I think the mist either needs to form (and not just begin) and then climb up his back, or the forming mist needs to climb whilst it is forming.
Added hyphen, because you’re using it as one adjective. That or you need a comma to make, ‘black, feathered wings…’
-“I'll be back quick.”
Incorrect grammar. Quick should either by ‘quickly’, to create an adverb for be, or changed to ‘soon’.
-“Here's some coin to go down to Thomas's place and get you some proper fitting clothes.”
-Does the letter really need quote marks? It’s not speech. I think just italics is enough to know it’s different from narration.
-“…the clothes Autre wore now didn't fit right at all.”
I don’t like the description of ‘didn’t fit right’. It feels clunky and there’s something off with the grammar. Can you be more specific anyway? How didn’t the fit ‘right’? Too big, too small?
-“Autre had been able to find a simple set of pants(comma) shoes(no comma) and a jacket(comma) since it was autumn and only going to get colder.”
Watch out for commas in lists and when you move into a subordinate clause.
-“The jacket was a good fit over a button-up shirt he had gotten as well.”
‘gotten’ is very colloquial and I think you should use something more specific. Maybe bartered?
-“He reached the the door just as Elizabeth…”
Repetition of ‘the’
-“…that seemed to be smoking wedged in the doorframe.”
What does ‘smoking wedged in’ mean? Oh wait, I think you mean:
‘Autre noticed a small black envelope, which seemed to be smoking, wedged in the doorframe.’
(separated the modifying clause with commas)
-"Looks like Jeffery was here(comma)" Elizabeth said as she took the envelope from Autre.
You need a comma here so you don’t separate the speech tag from the speech.
-“Elizabeth tucked the note into the basket she carried and walked inside(period)”
Missing full stop.
-“Elizabeth clearly could not see or sense the same smoke that Autre saw.”
“Smoke only Autre could see.”
These two are the same. Why say it twice? It stops the revolution of the last phrase from being so poignant.
Detail and Story Focus
-While you do have some really nice detail in here, remember what I said about showing, rather than telling. For example, rather than saying Autre was the only one who could see the smoke, how could Elizabeth react to show that she doesn’t see it?
-Some of your phrasing is a little odd sometimes. It appears that you try and slip into something that is more old fashioned. For example: ‘How was he to get back to Asgard?’ Should probably be: ‘How was he going to get back to Asgard?’ It’s a little jarring sometimes and interrupts the flow.
-You don’t actually have much action. You’re either explaining about how Autre came to be here, what his life’s life, or then just discussing the letter. It appears quite static at the moment and could do with more ‘life’. If this is a whole new world for him, how could you show that? There are plenty of questions to ask yourself. In fact, do that. Go through the piece and write down every question you ask yourself as you read like:
‘Elizabeth had offered to let Autre stay with her until he was positive he was up to going back home.’
Who’s Elizabeth? How old is she? What does she look like? Where is she? Is she standing, sitting, lying? Why ‘had’? Isn’t she offering now? Why is the offer now invalid? Who’s Autre? Male or female? What is the relationship between the two? Why is he staying? Where does he usually live? Is he homeless? Why would he turn down the offer, because he couldn’t have taken it because she ‘had’ offered? Is he negative now? Why wouldn’t he be ‘up’ for going home? Where’s home? How long has he been away? Is he ill? Why did he leave?
Of course, these don’t have to make their way into the writing, and hopefully, you already know the answers to a lot of these. But it really helps to ask (and answer) questions like these in your head. It makes the world more real and more well rounded. I think that would help you most with finding the details of the story, and give the story more focus to the characters and plot.
In general, I think the world needs to be bigger. If he's learning about Midgard, go roam the streets and find out what it's really like! You set up a plot with huge potential and you haven't quite reach the scale your work is asking from you yet! But don't worry, this is a great start - it's something you can definitely build on!
Let me know if you’ve got any questions about anything I’ve mentioned!
Thank you for this. I seem to be rushing this more than I should, and you pointed out several things I feared I was doing, plus more I wasn't even aware of.
As for some of the things, I do have the details, but they don't come apparent until other bits of the story are revealed. I try and keep my chapters at 800-1000 words each, which is probably doing more harm than good. Also giving each Chapter it's own name is probably confusing.
You've given me much to think on
Again, thanks for your time reading and the critique.
I try and go into quite a lot of depth. I know it might not help with this piece specifically, but it gives you things to think about for later pieces. It's always helpful to have someone go through your work, because they can spot things that you keep overlooking…
I assumed you had some of the details. The more questions you ask from the start, the more detail you can weave into the novel as you progress. Of course you won't answer them all as you go, but they're things the reader asks themselves when they read. So if you know all the questions they could ask, you can either directly state them, or imply them in later chapters
Short chapters are good for online. The internet has a very low attention span haha. I don't think it matters about chapter titles; it's really a matter of preference.
And hey, it's my job to give you things to think about it's no good if I just say 'it's wonderful', now is it?