It was a dream unlike any other she had experienced. First, an eldritch whisper came from the light-less ether. Clouds were surrounding the area about her. “If one had a second chance at life at their fingertips, what would they do to achieve it? Would they sacrifice everything they have? What would they try to save and what would they destroy in the prospect of losing all that made their life a hell for them and all those around? Or would they simply resume their normal life?” 

 

She turned ’round only to see a chair. Though it was empty, there was a heavy presence surrounding it. “Now, I ask again…” the whisper had turned into a normal speaking voice, this time a bit more assertive, “If one had a second chance at life, what would they do to achieve it?”

 

She was silent. She could not draw breath for even a second, let alone answer. Every minute thing changed, the clouds now formed a face. It was a man’s face, one that indicated age and wisdom, and in the chair sat another, clad with suit. The one in the chair spoke once more, “…Well? I am waiting.”

 

Gaining composure, she asked the obvious, “What is this? Who are you? Why am I here?”

 

The man merely chuckled and said, “It’s to give respite from your life.” He stood up and walked to the girl, clamping onto her hand. On instinct, she pulled away. She backed up away from him and after it looked like she was well enough away, she went off into a sprint. 

 

The dreamscape was enormous, almost infinite. Farther she went, but at the turn of her head, she could still see the man in the distance. “What do you want with me?” It wasn’t until she closed her eyes and screamed that she was returned to her original position, that in proximity of the man and the cloud. 

 

“Well now, we can’t be having that… can we?” The man sat back down before disappearing. The cloud same. Everything turned dark and she was all alone. 

 

A light broke through and a miasma of color rushed over, contrasting what she had seen before. A different voice broke through, though it was an explosive echo, frantic it was. “This just isn’t right… there seems to be something wrong here… Vera’s not reacting well. Someone please! Fetch the doctor!” A silhouette of her mother stretched over the now colorful moment.

 

Her life, for the moment, had now melded with her dream.

 

Instructor Response

Rook—

You’ve established your style well.  Your atmospheric setting is well done.  And you establish mystery and the wonder of what is to come.  You obviously have talent and ability and my comments are just possibilities that you should ignore if you find any of them useless.

 

Many of the comments are to tighten the writing without changing effect or meaning to any significant extent. 

 

It was a dream unlike any other she had experienced.  Maybe–“A dream.  Unlike any other.” This is an opening sentence, and it is from the narrator’s perspective.  You could move into the protagonist’s perspective by changing syntax and removing verbs.  Just a thought.  And it helps to avoid the passive, it was . . ., that tends to flatten the prose.  First, an eldritch (you’re so good at concrete descriptions, consider not using an abstract adjective here.  Think in terms of scratchy opr vaporized type of words.)  whisper came from the light-less ether. Clouds were surrounding (surrounded, no need for passive construction here) the area about her. "If one had a second chance at life at their fingertips, what would they do to achieve it? Would they sacrifice everything they have? What would they try to save and what would they destroy in the prospect of losing all that made their life a hell for them and all those around? Or would they simply resume their normal life?" 

 

She turned ’round only to see a chair. Though it was empty, there was a heavy presence surrounding it. This seems verbose.  You might try something like: “A heavy presence surrounded the empty chair near her.”  And I’m not sure the stage direction of her turning is necessary. "Now, I ask again…" the whisper said had turned into in a now assertive voice. normal speaking voice, this time a bit more assertive, "If one had a second chance at life, what would they do to achieve it?"

 

She was silent. She could not answer. Here, I think succinct increases the impact of her condition of the moment.  Every minute thing changed, the clouds now formed a face. It was a man’s face, one that indicated  with age and wisdom, and in the chair sat another man clad with suit. The one in the chair spoke againonce more, "…Well? I am waiting."

 

Gaining composure, she asked the obvious, "What is this? Who are you? Why am I here?"

 

The man merely chuckled and said, "It’s to give respite from your life." He stood up and walked to the girl, clamping onto her hand. On instinct, she pulled away. She backed up away from him and after it looked like she was well enough away, she went off to break into a sprint. 

 

The dreamscape was enormous, almost infinite. Farther she went, but at the turn of her head, she could still see the man in the distance. "What do you want with me?" It wasn’t until she closed her eyes and screamed that she was returned to her original position, that in proximity of the man and the cloud. 

 

"Well now, we can’t be having that… can we?" The man sat back down before disappearing. The cloud the same. Everything turned dark and Darkness descended. She was all alone. 

 

A light broke through and a miasma (Is this the right word to use with color, which is light energy and doesn’t seem to fit?)of color rushed over, contrasting what she had seen before. A different voice broke through, though it was an explosive echo, frantic it was ( a frantic, explosive echo.) "This just isn’t right… there seems to be something wrong here… Vera’s not reacting well. Someone please! Fetch the doctor!" A silhouette of her mother stretched over the now colorful moment. Nice.

 

Her life, for the moment, had now melded with her dream. Yes!

 

My edits are not meant for you to use.  They might change the effects of your writing.  I just wanted to show you what changes might do.  Some of the editing also shifts the narrative from a undisclosed narrator to the protagonist.  If the narrator has too strong a presence, it takes away from the dream quality, I think.

 

Great work.  All the best and thanks for the submission

WHC.

  1. Thank you very much, sir. As you can see, I have many problems with syntax as English is not my mother tongue. I hope to become better to reach my goal as a playwright. I appreciate your efforts to critique my piece.

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