[1893] A Proposal (Redraft, attempt #2)

My god that was really difficult to read. Not on bad effort on your part, I can tell you've tried to do alot of showing in your piece. But there's a lot more that makes a piece interesting.


Read this: Sentence Length


Starting a chapter with dialogue is iffy. If you want me to read everything, set the scene first as a bare minimum and then let the story carry me. Unless it's explosive dialogue. "GET DOWN!" I'm not going to be interested.

Here's how reading your story went for me:

In the first read I skim read all seven pages. It was edited in mostly single lines and was hard to get into. I also found that nothing hooked me. I searched desperately for an interesting point.

The second read: I made it to page three, I read every line and still asked myself. What the hell am I doing reading this?

The third read: Okay, so it's a story about guy forcing this girl to be part of his video. He's using kidnap as the sales point, and her own guilt against her. She's then comparing her bleeding wrist to indian burns? (Wtf) We then learn that he's actually kidnapped her and needs her help in an experiment, which she does willingly (wtf?)

I may have this all wrong. But honestly, it was too difficult to get through a fourth time. Maybe it's the way you've edited it, maybe it's my brain. But I tried, I really did.

Alright critiquing your prose:

Jill’s gaze was locked to the carpeted floor

This sentence is near the beginning, and it's an awkward one.

'Locked' usually refers to the snapping of a lock. Lets say, my gaze i'm looking at the floor and my friend says something rude. The way in which my eyes flick up and pierce straight into theirs, is what 'locked' refers to. That snap effect.

Here your character simply gazes.

Rich knelt down, put his hands on top of hers, and whispered, “I’m

The way this tag is set up, it's saying that he did all of this as he whispered. Write whispered in her ear and put a full stop.

Rich knelt down, put his hands on top of hers and whispered in her ear. "I'm

Rich shot up and towered over her

Again awkward. Shooting up means that he is towering over her. You writing it, is weird cause it seems like he wasn't already doing it. Imagine someone writing.

Jeremy stood and said, "Hello." Marsha stood and yelled, "Hi!"

The towered stood part is implied. You don't need to say it.

“Over 250,000 people in just our country. Over 700 people every single day. Do you think these other kidnapped boys and girls get homemade meals every day? Do you think that they are treated with respect? Do you think that they are unrestrained? That they all have a bed to sleep on? A voice to use?

This is telling dialogue.

He's probably told her this before. In this situation he would just say. "You know why this is important!"

"I, I know. But-"

His eyes opened.

And he inhaled, and sniffed. Then when he felt up to it he exhaled letting all the gunk of the world breeze between nostril hairs.

Rich said enthusiastically.

Enthusiastically is telling.

Show us with what he says that he is enthusiastic.

A chrome glint from his pocket started to show. Rich pulled out a Swiss army knife and flipped out the scissors.

No. no. no. no.

Just say he pulled out the knife.

Rich flipped a silver Swiss army knife from his pocket, and grabbed a lock of her hair.


He snipped the soft golden locks away, and held them to his nose, inhaling deeply. His eyes rolled back. "Beautiful."

Stop there.

Your insistent use of adverbs takes away from your dialogue. The lack of backstory, and tension, leaves no room for a hook.

The female's own emotions seem too unreal. Isn't she plotting her escape? Trying to kill him? Anything? She's simply trusting that the man who lied to her in the first place, is going to let her go?

The line by line writing, is ruining any sort of flow. Just as I get into half a paragraph, I'm broken out by a line break, adverbial slaughter and unnecessary dialogue.

The story itself could be pretty damn cool. It reminds me of Misery by Stephen King. Reading that novel and using elements of his prose will help you cook up something amazing here.


The main character was somewhat interesting.

All though a tad bit cliched. So driven by his own morals that he can do something undeniably immoral.

What would have made his personality shocking for me as a reader, is if you had this guy that kidnapped the girl and was doing all these mad videos.

But in real life he was vice president of the kidnapping peace society or something. And so he drugs her, and hides her under his lounge floor in the basement. And members from the society and other charities come and meet him to set up deals.

But all along there are kidnapped people hidden in his home. And he wears their locks of hair as a mustache or something, because he's a mad exhibitionist.

IDK. Some crazy shit like that. Not the - hurr durr bad guy kidnapper doing stuff plot.

Showing and telling.

I felt like you cut out all of the traditional signs of telling and replaced them with dialogue. Instead, if you just did a little bit of telling to fill us in, and then focused on showing.

Showing = Characters actions, feelings, sensations, thoughts, opinions.

You'd have a good mix up.

What we have here is a line by line script for a play. Remember, this is a story.


Overall, I like the concept. But the writing needs work.

Good luck with your revision

/r/DestructiveReaders Thread