Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesBooks & Authors · 7 years ago

What do you think of my piece? (300 words creative writing piece)?

Phoebe Price rode her bike home that day. Usually on a Thursday Pheobe would ride to school, then walk her bike to swim practise at the local sports centre with her friends Amelia and Julie. Then, afterwards, Phoebe's mum, would drive her and the bike home. But Phoebe's brother had sprained his wrist and was at the hospital so Phoebe had to ride he bike home.

Altogether the journey wasn't particularly unpleasant. The autumn air was cool and riding under a canopy of multi-coloured leaves with the setting sun peeking through at random intervals made her feel like she was in Disney Land - complete with the confetti and flashing lights.

Her plaited hair was dripping down her back and leaving a patch on her sweatshirt so when a gust of wind blew from behind her it sent a chill up her spin and the dry leaves got tangled in her hair. Phoebe shivered but she gripped the handle bars tightly and they stayed steady.

She switched gears as she neared a big hill that would up get her not two streets from her house. Her legs ached and she was tired from swimming so it was a tempting thought to just pull over at the pavement and walk up the hill. But she wanted to get home quickly. And besides, it would be quitting to walk up the hill.

When she gets home she'll dump her backpack in the laundry room and get out her homework to do - she won't actually do it but at least having on the kitchen table in plain sight will make her feel guilty about it. Phoebe thought about getting herself a Nutella sandwich and watching some TV as she reached the top of the hill. She couldn't wait to get home.

And that's when the blue Prius going at 40mph in a 20 zone hits her.

Phoebe is going to make a Nutella sandwich when she gets home. She is going to play hockey tomorrow at school. Phoebe is barely twelve. She likes tigers. Phoebe has never kissed a boy.

Phoebe is dead on impact.

It's just something short I wrote for an assignment. What do you think? Anything I could do to improve it? I'm not great at English so I'm just looking for pointers here.

1 Answer

  • 7 years ago
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    It is a good story with a point (I don't say "good" to just anything; it means something), but yes, it is a little rough.

    Just out of curiosity, was your assignment to write about something emotional or something to teach a lesson, or did you come up with the idea on your own?

    The idea is good, and you carry it out well, but of course, I have more suggestions. Please feel free to ignore any that you don't feel contribute to the story you are trying to build:

    Hmm, I take it you don't want a blow-by-blow of exactly where the comma needs inserted and what should be capitalized and so on. You just want pointers.


    Maybe don't have Phoebe's brother already in the hospital? It seems odd that he is already in such dire straits and then Phoebe gets in trouble too, and it warns you to worry about her because if he was hurt, she might be too. He could just as easily be at the doctor's office, or have a play he's acting in, or something else keeping her mum away.

    On the other hand, it might be good to put in how glad Phoebe was that the injury wasn't serious. Everyone had been worried but it was such a relief to know that everything was fine. That'll add to the jarring effect at the end.

    I'd put in something at the beginning saying Phoebe is in Junior High, or middle school. At the end, it tells you she is 12, but again, it will add to the jarring effect if we realize early how young she is. I didn't realize it, and by the time I read that she was 12, she was already dead and it was too late to change my imagined picture of her. It was just one more detail that didn't matter anymore.

    Put a comma after "Thursday" in the first paragraph, second sentence. I only bring this up because it was confusing at first, and the comma will make it much clearer. Also, take out "Then," in "Then, afterwards, Phoebe's mum, would drive her and the bike home." It's confusing because we already saw a lot of "then"s and things happening in sequence. Starting with "Afterward" will work fine. Again, it makes it hard to understand what's happening, or I wouldn't say anything.

    Fixing some of the other grammar will make it much more readable too, as figuring out what the story is trying to say does distract you from the story line itself, but if you want that done, you can ask for grammatical help ;) I won't force it on you (But do it if you're so inclined! It would take this story from a six to a nine! It's great writing, but it's hard to see that behind the grammar).

    I might put in something about how Phoebe had often ridden her bike to and from home at the beginning, just to emphasize how safe it is expected to be. By the way, don't give away the ending in the title!

    Hmm...maybe take out "not" in "not two streets from your house." It gives away what the ending will be because you don't say "not" unless you are going to give the idea "she almost made it; she was so close!" Personally, I would want to leave the surprise until the very end, but if you are more interested in foreshadowing then leave it. That's just a style opinion.

    Second to last paragraph, last sentence: "She couldn't wait to get home." Change "couldn't" to "can't" to keep in your present tense and keep the reader in the story, in the here and now. It jolted me out of it, and then I was confused when it switched right back to present tense in the last paragraph. I was trying to figure out how she came back to life suddenly.

    You don't want to put in that she was looking forward to going to Disney Land, do you? To give her something in the future she is planning on, I mean.

    But yes, as I was saying, it's a good story, just a bit rough. It's got great bones. You built the story, started out explaining what was going on, made us meet Phoebe and become familiar with her, and did it all while somehow keeping it brief, so don't let my many suggestions make you think otherwise. I always have many suggestions! I just commented on only two sentences from another story and it took so long Y!A made me take some out. To be fair, your writing is much more pulled-together than that story.

    Keep writing; you're good at it!

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