the shadow children

the shadow children

A Book by some nobody called maddie
"

this is just an unfinished short story I started, hope yall like it! i got the idea from the music video for the song come little children, although mine is definitely different.

"

Chapters


© 2021 some nobody called maddie


Author's Note

some nobody called maddie
what do you think of this? im 13 and ive never shared my writing before, i dont know if its any good or not. this is just a first chapter, comment if u want more!

My Review

Would you like to review this Book?
Login | Register




Featured Review

Okay, I’m about to hit you over the head with a 2x4. It’s not meant to hurt, though it will, because critiques always hurt. So before I begin, a few fast facts:
1. It’s not your fault. You’re writing exactly as you were taught to write.
2. For your age you write well. And, if not for point #1 above, you’d be good to go.
3. It has nothing to do with your talent for writing, because talent is potential, and till trained, contributes little.
4. It has nothing to do with the quality of the story.

So what’s the problem? Like everyone else, you believe that the skill your teachers call writing is a tool that works for all tasks. And since they’ve not mentioned any other approach, the idea makes sense, or, seems to. But think of why we have schools. At the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, illiteracy was common. For the common folk there were no schools, so Mom taught the kids how to read and write…if she knew how, and had the time.

But employers needed people who could do basic math, read instructions, and as required, write reports. That meant your employer had to hold classes to teach new hires how to read, write, and do math. At the same time, with Mom and Dad working, parents needed someone to watch the kids.

So…brilliant solution: “Let’s have the government both mind the kids to keep them out of trouble, and, give them the skills they need on the job.” And so schools were created to teach what’s commonly known as The Three R’s: Reading, wRiting, and aRithmatic.

But…what kind of writing do employers need us to know? Reports, letters, and essays. And what they all have in common is a goal of informing the reader., of reporting FACTS. So what do they assign you to write? In most cases, reports and essays.

With that in mind, look at your opening:

Fact #1 The playground lay in the woods.

Informative? It would be if we knew where we are in space and time. Without that it’s just a statement which lacks context

Fact #2 Nobody in the town trusted the woods.

What town? Could be ancient Athens, New York City, or a town on another planet. But the era matters, as does the setting,

And think about it. The woods? What about those who needed firewood? How about the police? Wouldn’t they investigate? How about the parents and friends of the kids who went missing? Do they just say, “Ah well, what can you do?" Would you, if your child vanished? Hell no.

You need to think about the big picture, and all the repercussions, and logical situations inherent to whatever you say. Your characters can't be smart when that's need, then turn dumb when you need that. Not if they're to seem real.

Fact #3 The trees were looming and dark masses of shadow, and vines crawled up every trunk.

A very old, but wise truism is that a picture is worth a thousand words. And it truly is.

Take my friend Sam. He stands in a great hall, about to meet a sorcerer. Assume I spend a thousand words making that place real to the reader. It takes four standard manuscript pages to do that. So after reading four pages of what the narrator visualizes, do I know what Sam is focused on? No. Yes, if the author tells me it’s the table that was described three pages ago I will have a visual picture…assuming I remember. But, You just wasted all that space, and the reader’s time, talking about things that are literally irrelevant to the scene and the story. Was there a bottle mentioned that will become important later? Given that the reader might stop to get some sleep, and not get back to the story for three days, they WILL have forgotten it.

The short version: If it matters to the protagonist, in the moment they call, “now,” it matters to the reader, for whom they’re an avatar. If not, it doesn’t exist.

In the case of Sam, he’s gazing at the cellphone the man just conjured up, and saying, “What in the hell is that thing?” Do I need to know the color of the draperies in the room, for that? Hell no.

The thing that counts, and the thing that’s so different from the nonfiction skills you learned is the goal of fiction. And as E. L. Doctorow so wisely observed: “Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader. Not the fact that it’s raining, but the feeling of being rained upon.” But, the one thing we know for certain, is that no teacher you’ve had, or will have will either explain how to do that, or know they’re missing that critical fact.

Why? Because only fiction writers need the tricks of fiction, and a teacher's job, and training, is to focus on teaching you the skills that most adults need in life an on the job. Professions, like Fiction-Writing, and Engineering, etc., are acquired IN ADDITION to The Three R’s.

So, since you’re coming to fiction writing years earlier than most, you’re in a great position to acquire those skills, and start writing fiction well prepared to do it, rather than wasting years fumbling with the nonfiction approach and hardening bad writing habits into stone. And based on your current skills at description, and expression, the effort will be worth it.

So, some suggestions:

For a broader view of the things that are very different when writing fiction, the articles in my WordPress Writing are meant to be a kind of overview of the issues. The link to them is at the bottom. But because this site doesn’t handle links, you need to copy/paste the address into the URL window at the top of any Internet page and hit the return key.

The local library system’s fiction-writing section (but not the school’s library) is filled with the views of pros in writing, publishing, and teaching. So time spent there is time wisely invested.

The best, and easiest introduction to the techniques of fiction that I’ve found is Debra Dixon’s, GMC: Goal Motivation & Conflict. Reading it feels like sitting with Deb as she discusses writing.

The very best book I’ve found is Dwight Swain’s, Techniques of the Selling Writer. Swain was one of Deb’s teachers. But he was a university professor, so it might be a bit too much for you, at this point. But if you want to try, you can download a free copy at the address just below. It is an older book, and talks abut your typewriter, not keyboard. And, the paragraphs on research can be replaced by, “Use Google…a lot.” But that aside, I’ve found none better, and it was the book that got me my first publishing contract. So if you want to take a look:

https://archive.org/details/TechniquesOfTheSellingWriterCUsersvenkatmGoogleDrive4FilmMakingBsc_ChennaiFilmSchoolPractice_Others

So…I know this wasn’t what you were hoping for, after all the work you’ve spent on the story. But since it is what you need to know, an since you’re writing far better than most of the adults posting here, I thought you should know.

So jump in. And while you do, hang in there, and keep on writing.

Jay Greenstein
https://jaygreenstein.wordpress.com/category/the-craft-of-writing/the-grumpy-old-writing-coach/

Posted 3 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

Okay, I’m about to hit you over the head with a 2x4. It’s not meant to hurt, though it will, because critiques always hurt. So before I begin, a few fast facts:
1. It’s not your fault. You’re writing exactly as you were taught to write.
2. For your age you write well. And, if not for point #1 above, you’d be good to go.
3. It has nothing to do with your talent for writing, because talent is potential, and till trained, contributes little.
4. It has nothing to do with the quality of the story.

So what’s the problem? Like everyone else, you believe that the skill your teachers call writing is a tool that works for all tasks. And since they’ve not mentioned any other approach, the idea makes sense, or, seems to. But think of why we have schools. At the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, illiteracy was common. For the common folk there were no schools, so Mom taught the kids how to read and write…if she knew how, and had the time.

But employers needed people who could do basic math, read instructions, and as required, write reports. That meant your employer had to hold classes to teach new hires how to read, write, and do math. At the same time, with Mom and Dad working, parents needed someone to watch the kids.

So…brilliant solution: “Let’s have the government both mind the kids to keep them out of trouble, and, give them the skills they need on the job.” And so schools were created to teach what’s commonly known as The Three R’s: Reading, wRiting, and aRithmatic.

But…what kind of writing do employers need us to know? Reports, letters, and essays. And what they all have in common is a goal of informing the reader., of reporting FACTS. So what do they assign you to write? In most cases, reports and essays.

With that in mind, look at your opening:

Fact #1 The playground lay in the woods.

Informative? It would be if we knew where we are in space and time. Without that it’s just a statement which lacks context

Fact #2 Nobody in the town trusted the woods.

What town? Could be ancient Athens, New York City, or a town on another planet. But the era matters, as does the setting,

And think about it. The woods? What about those who needed firewood? How about the police? Wouldn’t they investigate? How about the parents and friends of the kids who went missing? Do they just say, “Ah well, what can you do?" Would you, if your child vanished? Hell no.

You need to think about the big picture, and all the repercussions, and logical situations inherent to whatever you say. Your characters can't be smart when that's need, then turn dumb when you need that. Not if they're to seem real.

Fact #3 The trees were looming and dark masses of shadow, and vines crawled up every trunk.

A very old, but wise truism is that a picture is worth a thousand words. And it truly is.

Take my friend Sam. He stands in a great hall, about to meet a sorcerer. Assume I spend a thousand words making that place real to the reader. It takes four standard manuscript pages to do that. So after reading four pages of what the narrator visualizes, do I know what Sam is focused on? No. Yes, if the author tells me it’s the table that was described three pages ago I will have a visual picture…assuming I remember. But, You just wasted all that space, and the reader’s time, talking about things that are literally irrelevant to the scene and the story. Was there a bottle mentioned that will become important later? Given that the reader might stop to get some sleep, and not get back to the story for three days, they WILL have forgotten it.

The short version: If it matters to the protagonist, in the moment they call, “now,” it matters to the reader, for whom they’re an avatar. If not, it doesn’t exist.

In the case of Sam, he’s gazing at the cellphone the man just conjured up, and saying, “What in the hell is that thing?” Do I need to know the color of the draperies in the room, for that? Hell no.

The thing that counts, and the thing that’s so different from the nonfiction skills you learned is the goal of fiction. And as E. L. Doctorow so wisely observed: “Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader. Not the fact that it’s raining, but the feeling of being rained upon.” But, the one thing we know for certain, is that no teacher you’ve had, or will have will either explain how to do that, or know they’re missing that critical fact.

Why? Because only fiction writers need the tricks of fiction, and a teacher's job, and training, is to focus on teaching you the skills that most adults need in life an on the job. Professions, like Fiction-Writing, and Engineering, etc., are acquired IN ADDITION to The Three R’s.

So, since you’re coming to fiction writing years earlier than most, you’re in a great position to acquire those skills, and start writing fiction well prepared to do it, rather than wasting years fumbling with the nonfiction approach and hardening bad writing habits into stone. And based on your current skills at description, and expression, the effort will be worth it.

So, some suggestions:

For a broader view of the things that are very different when writing fiction, the articles in my WordPress Writing are meant to be a kind of overview of the issues. The link to them is at the bottom. But because this site doesn’t handle links, you need to copy/paste the address into the URL window at the top of any Internet page and hit the return key.

The local library system’s fiction-writing section (but not the school’s library) is filled with the views of pros in writing, publishing, and teaching. So time spent there is time wisely invested.

The best, and easiest introduction to the techniques of fiction that I’ve found is Debra Dixon’s, GMC: Goal Motivation & Conflict. Reading it feels like sitting with Deb as she discusses writing.

The very best book I’ve found is Dwight Swain’s, Techniques of the Selling Writer. Swain was one of Deb’s teachers. But he was a university professor, so it might be a bit too much for you, at this point. But if you want to try, you can download a free copy at the address just below. It is an older book, and talks abut your typewriter, not keyboard. And, the paragraphs on research can be replaced by, “Use Google…a lot.” But that aside, I’ve found none better, and it was the book that got me my first publishing contract. So if you want to take a look:

https://archive.org/details/TechniquesOfTheSellingWriterCUsersvenkatmGoogleDrive4FilmMakingBsc_ChennaiFilmSchoolPractice_Others

So…I know this wasn’t what you were hoping for, after all the work you’ve spent on the story. But since it is what you need to know, an since you’re writing far better than most of the adults posting here, I thought you should know.

So jump in. And while you do, hang in there, and keep on writing.

Jay Greenstein
https://jaygreenstein.wordpress.com/category/the-craft-of-writing/the-grumpy-old-writing-coach/

Posted 3 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


Stats

34 Views
1 Review
Added on February 22, 2021
Last Updated on February 23, 2021
Tags: fiction, first chapter, story, short story, slightly scary, horror, young adult

Author

some nobody called maddie
some nobody called maddie

About
just a teen aspiring writer wanting to know if my writings trash or not more..

Writing



Sex Education Day
How archaic notions of sexuality and virginity are foisted primarily on girls.
Advertise Here
Want to advertise here? Get started for as little as $5