Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesBooks & Authors · 9 years ago

B&A: School Days - Excerpt - Critique please?

Hey guys,

I feel a bit bad, I've not actually been talking about books or authors recently, so forgive me on that one, I'll be back on myself :) So, this is asking for some constructive criticism. I have a short introduction to the story, before I let you read them, my thoughts behind it:

It takes on a deliberate route of being cliche - it's a stereotypical high school (although no artificial characters in the sense of them being without depth), and so I made it follow that way.

If you think it's too much, or it isn't your cup of tea, feel free to say so, and I'll write a more casual, realistic piece. I'll try not to ask too often for criticism just yet, as I'm only writing the first draft, but since it's a group project, you're input is important :) Also, before I continue, I need to know which route you find is best - reasons why will help support your opinion

I'll set up a little page on my site and update regularly so you can check it out and comment or just read - I'll post up a link on my profile, so please be on the lookout. All comments are appreciated

Note: \\word// means the word is in italics

Oh and once Jen is free to write the prophecy as a poem, I'll insert that bit in where it's most suited


The tree stood in the corner of the school woods, and under the canopy of leaves was a white cross marked on the shadowed grounds. \\The// white cross.

She buried herself further into her winter coat, her dark hair was now hiding under her hood, but her anxious eyes took a look around the field, hoping she wasn't being followed. When her feet stood over the mark, she rubbed her hands together, amusing herself with the foggy white breath that escaped her mouth as she waited patiently for The Oracle.

He emerged from what seemed like nothing but darkness, his hands already shuffling the tarot cards, mumbling a few incoherent words of tradition. A black cloak hid his pale skinned body, but his wand was poking out from beneath. The girl noticed it, but managed not to comment.

"Thanks for coming," she said.

He dismissed her greeting. "What is your question?"

"What does the year bring for us in BA High?"

He stopped shuffling with a hard smack, after which he drew the very top card and flipped it over. His eyes grazed over the picture, and a slight smug smile tugged at the corner of his small lips.

"The Wheel of Fortune," he said, and upon a blank face of confusion as a reply, he elaborated. “This signifies change, and to some extent, revolution. It can bring either good or bad luck, there is no telling just yet, but things aren’t going to be the same out here.”

"Revolution? Whose?"

"Why, those who have been oppressed, of course.”

A series of short images flashed through her mind; she knew who he was talking about.

The school bell rang, though it was barely audible to where they stood. The girl’s head turned to the building, and by the time she looked back, The Oracle had gone.

She sighed and made her way to her class after break.


I've made the girl have no name just yet, for the purpose of mystery - personally, I've made that person myself - for some role in the story - and shortly after, I'll introduce the other characters one by one. I must say however, just a thought - this story is ...well, what genre to place it as? But basically, it's the people that have been put down that step up into the story - what about minor plots - a little comedy? A little sob-story? A little romance? - Which one(s) out of these do you think you'll like, if any?


Oh, and just a little poll. I was just wondering...well, of course as you know, my username is Just Like That, but I always sign off and am addressed as JLT (which I love), but do you think Jay is better? For the story?

Thank you all so much - as for what I'd like - great detailed critique isn't really necessary just yet - just things that work, and things that don't, and things I can improve on as a whole, and things that I've got the hang of (if any!)



Thank you, Brent!

Thanks for the stars guys, but I would really, really love more answers (a little more stars won't hurt! But yeah, I'm mainly looking for some feedback)

Update 2:

The Oracle is Brent :)

Thanks for your answer, Piccalily Potter - very helpful, and I agree completely

Thanks for your answer too, Little Blue Lamb, glad you like!

6 Answers

  • Unkurg
    Lv 5
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    I do like this a lot, and I had a few observations/comments that I had written in a line-by-line going over of this excerpt (nothing too bad, I promise! :D) that I was going to e-mail you...then I lost it. And now there are other things that need my attention, so I will have to try to do that again tomorrow.

    Again, the tone has captured my attention, and I am very interested to see what happens next!

    • Login to reply the answers
  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Oh My God i read he First Story for like 5 Times,believe it or not i had a little Chill :)

    the girl really had my attention,because for some reason i think she must have a Brownish Long hair,Or Black

    when i read what "The Oracle" said,"Silas" from "The Davinci Code" just Popped in my head,His role sounds very mysterious and dark,i Loved,again i LOVED the Writing,the Explaining,Believe me if the Book is going to be with this Much Information,it will get so Many Good Critics

    i would suggest if you put a little hidden mystery in it,Like for example the story of the Oracle (That if you want to put his past story) should be revealed in the end of the book,so it can be more interesting for the reader

    also i would suggest if you put a very "Funny" person in the book,and of course he/she is a Friend with the Main character,so the book is not focusing on one thing only,a nice mix or Comedy+Mystery is Really Good and amusing for the reader

    a Romance?? hmm i'm not sure but how about a Crush?...of course the best thing to focus on are the Characters and how their personalities are going to change :)

    I can't wait to see what happen,For real Reading this Plot had my all attention ^__^

    Poll:Hmmmm how about you use "Jay" for the Story and you write your name like that Jay (Just Like That)??

    • Login to reply the answers
  • Kelly
    Lv 5
    9 years ago

    I really like it, JLT!

    I really just want to say that I agree, I think making it so that's it slightly melodramatic could give you the feel that this is really a high school sort of book. Honestly, I'd say making it even a little more melodramatic, to the point where it's even satirical would be good.

    The genre is probably comedy, with some drama. And romance...? I think it would make the story a lot more interesting for there to be romance, but it's probably be better to make up characters for the romance part. You know, to spare a couple of B&A members the, er, awkwardness... :p

    And I definitely think Jay is better for the story! Having a student named JLT, I think, is a little bit strange:p

    Really great job so far! :)

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 9 years ago

    I think there should definitely be little side-stories (sad/funny/romantic/just general really) and for you, definitely use Jay for the story.

    I like the whole tarot card thing, with The Oracle.

    These sentences seem a little awkward:

    When her feet stood over the mark


    The girl’s head turned


    A series of short images flashed


    his hands already shuffling the tarot cards


    her anxious eyes took a look around the field

    These would be better as:

    When she stood over the mark


    She turned


    A flurry of images flashed


    already shuffling the tarot card


    her anxious eyes flickered around the field

    The extra words seem unnecessary and they halt the flow of the writing.

    Otherwise, great job :D I like the cliché: it seems a little like a parody.


    • Login to reply the answers
  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • Woot Woot!!! you're on your way!!!

    I didn't see too many awkward sentences though. Maybe I just don't have as good of an eye for that.

    Like Brent, the mystery of the Oracle and the meeting gave me chills!

    Keep it up!

    Oh, for your name, I like Jay. But people could call you JLT if you make your initials a J L and T

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 9 years ago

    It's great! I don't think it needs any change, but who is The Oracle? I don't recall seeing them in the character list. I think a comedy, a sob story AND a romance would work great! If it's stereotypical, it needs all the drama it can get! Can't wait to see what you put next!

    • Login to reply the answers
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.