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LarikaLarika Bibliophile
edited December 4 in Author Workshop
I have revised my book cover of my novel "The Pig Child" but on re-reading the book I realise that I must revise the whole book. There is far too much "telling" and not enough "showing." To some people this concept comes easily but I struggle with it. How should I have written this scene?


It was a Thursday and Patsy decided to visit the Central library. She took the bus there and spent several hours doing some research for her studies. However it was winter and suddenly she realized that it was getting very late. So she packed away her books and walked to the bus stop. The bus didn't come for over half an hour so when she finally got to her destination it was very dark. As chance would have it, as she got off the bus she saw Damien Brown coming towards her. Swiftly she crossed the road and walked quickly towards her hall of residence. However she heard hurried footsteps behind her. Suddenly the young girl felt a hand over her mouth and strong arms dragged her into a little side street. Then Brown violently raped her. "That'll teach you a lesson Piggy Wiggy,” he sneered as he stood over her. With that he turned and fled.
    Patsy lay on the ground. She was trembling and overcome by fear and grief. Blood was trickling down her leg. This evil man had violated her and she felt dirty. Crying silently she got up and walked back swiftly to her room and locked the door. Then she got undressed and jumped into the shower. The young woman scrubbed and scrubbed herself until her skin was red and raw. By now her tears were flowing freely and she threw herself onto her bed.
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Comments

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    I have revised my book cover of my novel "The Pig Child" but on re-reading the book I realise that I must revise the whole book. There is far too much "telling" and not enough "showing." To some people this concept comes easily but I struggle with it. How should I have written this scene?

    No comment ...  :)

    Let's look at the two apparent methods, one that some say is 'wrong'.

    Face to face >>

    "Hello, where have you been?!"  Mary asked, sounding irritated.

    Or - "Hello, where have you been?!"  Mary asked, with a look of irritation spreading across her face.

    But, not face to face >>

    "Hello, where have you been?!"  Mary asked, sounding irritated.

    Just that can be used, because you cannot see Mary if she's on the other end of a phone.

    Right or wrong?

    Anyway, ignoring Tell or Show and just being Descriptive.

    I assume this is a story for children? because it's a bit basic, so what to add or change? (shrugs.)


       

    (I will change a few things, you will have to read it to see what, but it’s still very basic. I have added comments also.)

     

    It was a Winter’s Thursday and not having anything else to do, Patsy decided to visit the Central library to do some research for her studies.

     

    Dressing up warm she took the bus there and spent several hours reading text books on her subject and taking notes.

     

    (There’s no atmosphere. Imagine going out on a Winter’s day, what’s it like? Did she pay the driver? Was he nice or what? Are there other people on the bus? Imagine her feelings as she studies them, do any make her feel uncomfortable. Are there other people using the library? What does she feel about those? Did she have to ask if she could use some books, and where are the ones she wants?)

     

    Engrossed in her studies she eventually realized that it was getting very late. So she returns the books to the shelves, puts her notes into her bag and walked to the bus stop.

     

    (Out of the warmth in to the cold night.)

     

    It didn’t come for over half an hour,

     

    (Was she nervous? Was she waiting on her own? Were their other people waiting? Were any a bit shifty? If not did she think they were? Young woman, on her own, at night, at a bus stop ... People on the bus? Young woman, on her own, at night, sat on a bus, build some suspense, then relieve it when she gets off it.)

     

    so when she finally got to her destination it was very dark.

     

    (How far?)

     

    As chance would have it, as she got off the bus she saw Damien Brown coming towards her.

     

    (And who is he?)

     

    Swiftly she crossed the road

     

    (Why? previous history between them? What?)

     

    and walked quickly towards her hall of residence.

     

    (And how far is that? Is it well lit? What’s around her? Build up some drama. Is there actually no one else around?)

     

    However she heard hurried footsteps behind her.

     

    (That could go on longer to build up suspense. She’s frightened no doubt. But I would then have the footsteps stopping, and for a few minutes, to which she feels relieved, and so would the reader, but she still has a way to walk.)

     

    Now feeling safe, the young girl ...

     

    (To me, ‘hall of residence’ denotes a university, so she’s a young woman not a young girl. 18? 19? 20? She could even be older.)

     

    ... is stopped dead by a clammy hand over her mouth from behind cutting off any chance to scream. Irresistible hands, one still over her mouth, the other around her waist, dragged her into a secluded dim narrow side street.

     

    Then Brown violently raped her.

     

    (Without going in to ‘Porn,’ there does need to be a little more detail here. Pushes her to the ground? Pins her to the wall? Is she wearing a dress or a skirt? Jeans? There must surely be a struggle. What does he do about that? Rapes are violent, her horror needs to be described here, and his attitude. And – so it’s not a story for children! And do rapes even occur in YA stories? Not that I know of.)

     

    "That'll teach you a lesson Piggy Wiggy,” he sneered as he stood over her. With that he turned and fled.

     

    (I assume he zipped up his pants first? And what state is she in? Is she shouting for help? His hand is no longer over her mouth. Perhaps she’s unconscious?)

     

    Patsy lay on the ground. She was trembling and overcome by fear and grief.

     

    (Now we are getting a bit of detail. Very often with shame, too.)

     

    Blood was trickling down her leg. This evil man had violated her and she felt dirty. Crying silently

     

    “Surely she would be even more distraught?)

     

     she got up and walked back

     

    (She would have to sort out her clothing first.)

     

     swiftly to her room

     

    (Not passing anyone, at all?)

     

     and locked the door. Then she got undressed and jumped into the shower. The young woman scrubbed and scrubbed herself until her skin was red and raw. By now her tears were flowing freely and she threw herself onto her bed.

     

    (Surely she would be curled up sobbing her heart out? What else is she feeling? She’s just been raped.)

     

    (So, anyway. What you have written is the bones. It needs everything else adding to it now.)


  • I agree with Kevin. "Then Brown violently raped her" is too much a throw-away line. While you needn't go into explicit detail, I think you need to describe the act more than just those five words. You need to convey something more of the horror that Patsy endured during the attack rather than leave this to how she felt afterward.

    It was a Thursday and Patsy decided to visit the Central library [either Central Library or no caps] She took the bus there and spent several hours doing some research for her studies. However it was winter and suddenly she realized that it was getting very late. [you might mention how she realized this and what winter had to do with it. For instance, she noticed that it was growing dark] So she packed away her books and walked to the bus stop. The bus didn't come for over half an hour so when she finally got to her destination it was very dark. [I presume she didn't know the bus schedule? She could have stayed in the library where it was warm until it was time to catch the bus] As chance would have it, [As] she got off the bus she saw Damien Brown coming towards her. Swiftly she [She swiftly] crossed the road and walked quickly towards her hall of residence. [unless you have already mentioned something about her relationship with Damien you probably need to say something about why she wanted to avoid him] However[,] she heard hurried footsteps behind her. Suddenly [she] the young girl ["young girl' is redundant---and unnecessary if we already know she is of college age] felt a hand over her mouth and [as] strong arms dragged her into a little side street. Then Brown violently raped her. [see above comment] "That'll teach you a lesson Piggy Wiggy,” he sneered as he stood over her. With that he turned and fled.
        Patsy lay on the ground. She was trembling and overcome by fear and grief. Blood was trickling down her leg. This evil man had violated her and she felt dirty. Crying silently she got up and walked back swiftly to her room and locked the door. Then she got undressed and jumped into the shower. The young woman [She] scrubbed and scrubbed herself until her skin was red and raw. By now her tears were flowing freely and she threw herself onto her bed.

    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • LarikaLarika Bibliophile
    Thank you both for your comments. That is why I say I'm still developing my writing skills. I really rushed that one to get my message "out there." The whole book needs a lot of work. :)
  • What book doesn't need more work?  ;) 
    I think you are actually off to a pretty good start! I think the main suggestion I would make would be for you to slow down a little and take your time with your story. Fill in some more details, set settings, let your reader in on what your character is thinking and feeling...things like that. For instance, much of what you posted takes place in the winter after sunset. It would be dark and chilly so make the reader feel that by letting the character react to the darkness and cold. She is standing for half an hour waiting for a bus. Have her shivering and seeing her breath. Maybe she has to pace or stamp her feet to keep warm. Maybe the darkness beyond the streetlight makes her feel uncomfortable and nervous. Things like that.
    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • Rape is a tough sort of thing to write. Too descriptive and it starts to sound like twisted porn; not descriptive enough and it sound like too casual of a thing, on the order of getting a cup of coffee. I might go for a balance that is based more in how she feels and how it affected her, something like this:
    Swiftly she crossed the road and walked quickly towards her hall of residence. However she heard hurried footsteps behind her. Suddenly the young girl felt a hand over her mouth and strong arms dragged her into a little side street. Then Brown violently raped her. "That'll teach you a lesson Piggy Wiggy,” he sneered as he stood over her. With that he turned and fled.
        Patsy lay on the ground.
    She swiftly crossed the road, hoping he hadn't seen her. She quickened her pace, trying not to draw attention, but wanting desperately to reach her residence hall. She heard footsteps behind her. She started to turn, wanted to run, but felt a hand over her mouth and an arm around her waist.

    Her heart fell as he dragged her into the alley. "Hush, now, or it'll get much worse," he whispered, as he began to tear her clothes. It was over in minutes, but it seemed like hours. She lay on the ground, weeping, terribly violated, and all alone, in a city of millions.

    "That'll teach you, Piggy-Wiggy!" he sneered, as he straightened his belt. Then he was running away, leaving her there, terrified and broken. No one came to help her, and she had never felt more alone.

    Now, with that said... You are, after all, the author, and you alone know what the plot holds and what it requires... I would ask that you consider whether this scene is necessary to the plot.

    With that also said, what I've done to your narrative is what Ron and Kevin suggested: I've worked in her thoughts, fears, and experiences. We want the reader to feel a part of things, to understand it so clearly that it is as if they are there. That's not an easy thing to achieve, and many people simply can't do it. I think you can.

    You have all of the pieces, but my advice (I must sound like a broken record to some folks on this) is to simply slow down and visualize the scene. Write it as you see it in your mind. Describe what you think she would see, hear, and feel. Incorporate that into what's going on. And just let it flow.
  • There is far too much "telling" and not enough "showing." To some people this concept comes easily but I struggle with it. How should I have written this scene?

    No comment ... 

    Thank you.


  • Just to pile on... I think that a key in describing a scene is not to simply state the facts. There was a bus. It had a driver. He had a beard. It was purple.

    Instead we want to know what the facts mean. There was a bus, a big red bus like the ones she remembered. Like the one that had run over Dagmar. With a sniffle at the thought of Dagmar, she ascended the steps, noting through tear-filled eyes that the bus driver's beard was purple, and that it matched his shoes. She wondered why he was wearing purple shoes, and that distracted her from Dagmar. She chose the third seat on the left, avoiding the first two because they were covered in dog hair.

    I guess that's the big question: what do the facts mean?

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    Thank you both for your comments. That is why I say I'm still developing my writing skills. I really rushed that one to get my message "out there." The whole book needs a lot of work

    That seems to be one of the common habits amongst many self-publishers.

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    As you can see, there are various opinions of what to write, combine the methods and you will have a good story.

    Where you are very acquainted with a character, the main one or ones, not just some passing stranger, put yourself in their shoes, how would you feel in any given situation? Write it. Scenes. Literally picture them in your mind. Describe them. If you cannot picture them, then look for photos or go to places that you can describe what you are seeing. Go at night even. What are your feelings between night and day? Different atmosphere perhaps?

    You have to tell your reader a whole story because they have no idea of what is in your mind. Don't just tell them a basic page 30 newspaper report.

  • LarikaLarika Bibliophile
    Again I thank you all. Your comments are most helpful and I really would like to make this book better. It's an issue close to my heart.
     Skoob, i do agree that some rape scenes are completely unnecessary, but this rape is essential to the plot of my book.
    I love this art form and will continue to try and improve my creative writing. 
  • It takes constant work. I find that if I leave it go for a couple of weeks, I start to lose my edge, and have to work to get it back. Read constantly. Write constantly. And let the story flow from you.
  • LarikaLarika Bibliophile
    edited December 10
    Isn't it strange. I'm a book lover. From a young age I've constantly read. I've been selective in my reading and recognise really good writing. However when it comes to actually writing a story, I find it incredibly difficult. However I persevere!  I came to creative writing very late in life. I was in my late sixties when I joined my writing group. With their encouragement I continued to write. I found that I enjoyed this art form. Originally I used Lulu simply as a way to create books for my only Grandchild (She's  nearly 10 and I'm in my eighties) Later I got more ambitious and tried my hand at novels. I will continue to write because you're never too old to learn. Thank you all for your encouragement and help. I've abandoned "Basira" temporarily, (The 3rd in my series of Stolen) to focus on re-writing "The Pig Child." 
    PS. When I was an advisory teacher for English, my work involved visiting the schools in my area to make sure that the English that was used by the teacher was appropriate for all the children in the clas. Sometimes the language used, or the worksheet which were given to less able pupils, was much too difficult for them. My work never involved creative writing. 
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    Skoob, i do agree that some rape scenes are completely unnecessary, but this rape is essential to the plot of my book.

    I think what he meant is, they can be described, but they don't need to be 'graphic' leading towards porn.

    Here's three other opinions on how to handle it >>

    https://litreactor.com/columns/the-problem-with-rapes-portrayal-in-fiction

    https://www.quora.com/How-do-I-write-an-authentic-but-tactful-rape-scene

    http://blobolobolob.blogspot.com/2013/06/5-things-fiction-writers-should.html

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    Isn't it strange. I'm a book lover. From a young age I've constantly read. I've been selective in my reading

    I have to admit that I can be selective also, the older I get, but it is best to read all manner of stuff, that way you will see far more styles and methods, and you will notice far more when you also write.

     and recognise really good writing.

    How would you describe really good writing?

     However when it comes to actually writing a story, I find it incredibly difficult.

    Not everyone has the imagination to create fiction. It can also be quite a chore in fact.

     However I persevere!

    And so you should, even if only for your own enjoyment and entertainment. Not to mention for practice.

      I came to creative writing very late in life.

    You did none at school?! Homework > write a 2,000 word story about (fill in here.)

     I was in my late sixties when I joined my writing group. With their encouragement I continued to write.

    That's quite a long time ago (no offence!) so what did you learn? And who from? Was there a leader?

     I found that I enjoyed this art form.

    If you have always made up stories to yourself in your mind, then they should get down on to paper. If you have not, then?

     Originally I used Lulu simply as a way to create books for my only Grandchild (She's  nearly 10 and I'm in my eighties) Later I got more ambitious and tried my hand at novels.

    Often novels are just a few stories with the same character, but one main story from start to finish. Or even chapters with different characters linked with each other for some reason and all leading towards the end of that main story.

     I will continue to write because you're never too old to learn.

    Some times true.

     Thank you all for your encouragement and help. I've abandoned "Basira" temporarily, (The 3rd in my series of Stolen) to focus on re-writing "The Pig Child." 

    OK.


    PS. When I was an advisory teacher for English, my work involved visiting the schools in my area to make sure that the English that was used by the teacher was appropriate for all the children in the clas. Sometimes the language used, or the worksheets which were given to less able pupils, was much too difficult for them.

    Was that in the UK? The National Curriculum does not care about each child's individual ability, because whoever made it up thinks that all children are born with an equal learning capacity, and if they are not all brought up to the same high level (not even an average level) then the teacher is said to be at fault, an excuse often used to keep their pay down.

     My work never involved creative writing.

    The same can be said of quite a few famous writers.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac_Asimov#Biography 

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._K._Rowling#Name 

  • SeamusSeamus Creator
    Good for you Larika,, keep going!
    Tim Reinholt Author of Pow, a ski bum heist adventure
  • LarikaLarika Bibliophile
    Thanks Seamus I will.
     Kevin I was an Advisory Teacher in English in the Dartford, Swanley, Gravesend area of Kent in the UK. As to writing at school, I was a very shy, sensitive, secretive child and hated writing stories and compositions, especially the ones asking about my life and my thoughts and feelings. I gave little away. I even disliked writing letters. I started on my journey towards writing by telling stories to my 2 children and then made little books for them which I illustrated. It was only when I joined my writing group that I became interested in writing for adults. They were very patient with my early efforts and gave me suggestions as to how I could improve my writing. As to "good writing." In my view there's a texture and depth in good writing. The characters are well defined and I can believe in them. Also I think original, imaginative metaphors and similes lie at the very heart of description. It's so easy to use a cliche but good writers don't. Finally in my opinion it's a good, well written book if it leaves a lasting impression on me.
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    Kevin I was an Advisory Teacher in English in the Dartford, Swanley, Gravesend area of Kent in the UK.

    If it's not a rude question, how long ago was that?

    As to writing at school, I was a very shy, sensitive, secretive child and hated writing stories and compositions, especially the ones asking about my life and my thoughts and feelings. I gave little away. I even disliked writing letters.

    Well, that's not a good sign when you wish to become a writer, even in later life.

     I started on my journey towards writing by telling stories to my 2 children and then made little books for them which I illustrated.

    We just bought books  :) but my oldest started to read novels from the age of eight, mainly YA ones. My youngest had no, and still does not have, any interest in reading anything he does not have to. Strange is it not?

     It was only when I joined my writing group that I became interested in writing for adults. They were very patient with my early efforts and gave me suggestions as to how I could improve my writing.

    And how many of them were published writers? And I don't just mean self-published.

     As to "good writing." In my view there's a texture and depth in good writing.

    If the reader often forgets they are reading words and starts to generate images in their mind, then it's a sign it's well-written. Then again, it's said that some people only think in words.

    The characters are well defined and I can believe in them.

    Indeed. Although, just as in real life, what one knows (via the story in fiction's case) about a person can take a while to develop.

     Also I think original, imaginative metaphors and similes lie at the very heart of description.

    I am not sure about that, not according to the definition of a metaphor.

    https://www.grammarly.com/blog/metaphor/

    And similes are often used far too often, and is often a lazy method of writing. As daft as a brush ... there's 1000s of cliché ones.

    http://www.saidwhat.co.uk/spoon/similes.php

    But any new ones may not be understood. As smelly as a belly.

     It's so easy to use a cliche but good writers don't.

    They would be very hard pressed to find one that's not already in use! Even if you have never heard it before.

     Finally in my opinion it's a good, well written book if it leaves a lasting impression on me.

    Do you not read purely for entertainment? 

  • LarikaLarika Bibliophile
    edited December 7
    If it's not a rude question, how long ago was that?
    took early retirement 20 years ago and moved to France. However when I returned to England I did some supply teaching for a couple of years then stopped teaching completely. 
    Well, that's not a good sign when you wish to become a writer, even in later life. 
    Exactly. The earlier you begin writing the more you can develop the skill. J.K.Rowling used to make up stories when she was a child and tell them to her sister.
    Do you not read purely for entertainment? 
     Entertainment comes from the TV, Youtube, the musicals performed by our local amateur theatre group and the poetry I listen to. Mostly I read to learn.



  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    If it's not a rude question, how long ago was that?
    took early retirement 20 years ago and moved to France. However when I returned to England I did some supply teaching for a couple of years then stopped teaching completely.

    A teacher's time nowadays is mainly taken up by keeping daily, monthly and yearly records to prove what effect they are having (as well as planning.) That was introduced by M. Thatcher when teachers wanted more money, as if teachers have no idea what they are doing, without constantly having to prove they do. A lot of their 'spare' time and hols are spent doing the reports, that no one even reads. It's far from being a 9 to 3.15 job as many think it is. They don't have to do it in Scotland, they just teach, and I don't think supply teachers have to do it anywhere, either.

    (Was that too serious?)

     
    Well, that's not a good sign when you wish to become a writer, even in later life. 
    Exactly. The earlier you begin writing the more you can develop the skill. J.K.Rowling used to make up stories when she was a child and tell them to her sister.

    To some it comes naturally. I am not sure it's something that can be learned. Then again >>  https://futurism.com/this-ai-wrote-a-novel-and-the-work-passed-the-first-round-of-a-national-literary-award/   I have never read it though!


    Do you not read purely for entertainment? 


     Entertainment comes from the TV, Youtube, the musicals performed by our local amateur theatre group and the poetry I listen to. Mostly I read to learn.

    Entertainment comes from everything, but here's some books listed as such >>

    https://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/entertaining-fiction  :)

  • LarikaLarika Bibliophile
    Some in our writing group embellish their descriptions with very good metaphors. (a few of our writers have books published by independent publishers and 2 use Amazon for their books. One makes his own books and they look very professional.) I read The Book Thief from that list of entertaining books you gave. Gosh I learned a lot from that book!
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    Do they make metaphors up? Do you have some examples?
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    Do they make metaphors up? Do you have some examples?

    Here are some examples, but the site should find who to credit them to, but some are just statements.

    https://www.ereadingworksheets.com/figurative-language/figurative-language-examples/metaphor-examples/

  • LarikaLarika Bibliophile
    edited December 7
    Metaphors are what I find so difficult, particularly in poetry.
    Do you have some examples? 
     Yes, they make up their metaphors and similes. I'll check out their books later. Often when they read their short stories or poems, the rest of us comment on the fine metaphors they have made up. We all recognise cliches. I was a terror for using them initially. (Sorry no accent in my Chromebook.)
  • LarikaLarika Bibliophile
    I imagine those "harder" metaphors could well belong to someone--- copyright? Many of the "easy" ones are cliches.
  • Larika said:
    I imagine those "harder" metaphors could well belong to someone--- copyright? Many of the "easy" ones are cliches.
    True on both counts, but I think that the site was using the lists as examples in order to get students to start thinking about how to create---and use---metaphors rather than expecting them to copy them into their own work.

    It's easy for something to become a cliche, especially if it's really catchy. As someone once said of Shakespeare, "His plays are just one cliche after another."
    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • LarikaLarika Bibliophile
    edited December 8
    Gosh it's hard work doing all you suggested and this is only one scene I've a whole book to revise!! Is this better?

       It was a dull, windy, Thursday afternoon. Patsy decided to head  to the Central Library. Putting on her dark blue winter coat and shoving a hat on her head, she grabbed her bag and headed for the main exit of the Hall of Residence. Outside her breath made clouds as it hit the cold air. Arriving at the bus stop she smiled when she saw the bus trundling towards her. Good timing, she thought.

       The bus was almost empty when it arrived . However when she got on she saw a very fat, young man with a wide, flabby face. staring at her. Patsy ignored him and took a seat as far away from the man as was possible. She felt a bit unnerved by his blank stare, so she was relieved when he got off at the next stop.

       As her stop approached Patsy rang the bell and got off when  the bus stopped right in front of the Victorian building that housed the library. She walked  quickly into the warmth of the old building. Collecting the books she needed, Patsy sat down at a table in the reference section. She soon became absorbed in her studies and was oblivious to the rustling noises, as the people around her in the library browsed through their books. 

       A few hours glided by as Patsy did her research. Suddenly she felt a tap on her shoulder. Turning round, she saw the middle-aged librarian glaring at her. "We're closed young woman," she said, pointing to the clock. Patsy jerked her eyes upward and saw, through the high windows abutting the ceiling, that daylight had completely flown. 
       "I'm so sorry," she said, gathering up her books and returning them to the shelves. Then she stuffed the notes she'd been making  into her bag. Patsy hurried out of the warm library into the cold, winter's night. Luckily she didn't have to wait long for the bus to come and again it was  almost empty. The few passengers ignored her as she took a window seat. At her stop she hopped off the bus and began to walk purposefully towards her Hall of Residence. However she felt uncomfortable in the dimly lit street. 

       As she walked along she heard footsteps behind her. At first she didn't want to turn round to see who it was; instead she quickened her pace. But now the footsteps grew louder, Patsy glanced back and saw a shadowy figure getting ever closer. Swiftly, she crossed the road and broke into a run, but the figure was closing the gap between them like a grizzly closing in on it's helpless prey.

       Suddenly, a heavy, sweaty hand was slapped across her mouth and an arm curled around her shoulders as she felt herself being dragged into an alleyway.
    "Don't say a word Piggy, Wiggy. You know what will happen to you if you do," growled a voice. Instantly Patsy recognised the voice. It was Damien Brown. Brown pulled the struggling girl behind two dustbins. He threw her to the ground as he undid his zip. Lifting up her skirt and pulling down her panties and tights, he threw himself on top of her. After he'd finished he stood towering above the shivering, young woman. "So, who's the boss now Piggy Wiggy," he hissed. Then he raced into the night.

       Patsy lay on the ground, trembling in fear and pain, as blood trickled down onto her thighs and pooled on the cobblestones. She reached out her bruised arms and pulled herself upright, leaning against the wall.
    "I've got to get to my room," she muttered to herself. She pulled up her panties and tights, picked up her bag and began to hobble unsteadily towards her Hall of Residence. She walked with nervous, jerky steps until she reached the safety of her room.

      Inside, she locked the door and ripped off her violated clothes. Then she staggered over to her wash-basin and filled it with hot water. Picking up her hairbrush she dipped it in the water and soaped it up. She scrubbed every part of her body, until her skin was red and raw, as she tried to wash away the pervasive, foul odour of Damien Brown.

    When she'd finished Patsy threw herself on to her bed and wrapped the comforting duvet around herself. She stared dry-eyed at the ceiling but as the memory of the dreadful rape invaded her thoughts, she began to sob. Soon tears were streaming down her face, "Why, oh why did this happen to me" she whispered into the silent room.

    Is this a bit over the top?  
  • Larika said:
    Gosh it's hard work doing all you suggested and this is only one scene I've a whole book to revise!! Is this better?

    Very, very much improved! It is much more engaging and involving. You get a better sense of who Patty is and what she is like as a person.

    At first read, I saw only a few punctuation issues, mainly, which are trivial at this stage. I will go through it again to see if there might be anything that comes to mind that might be more substantial...

       It was a dull, windy, Thursday afternoon. Patsy decided to head for the bright lights of the Central Library. Putting on her dark blue winter coat and shoving a hat on her head, she grabbed her bag and headed for the exit. Outside her breath made clouds as it hit the cold air. Arriving at the bus stop she smiled when she saw the bus trundling towards her. "Good timing," she thought.

       The bus was almost empty when it arrived . However when she got on she saw a very fat, young man with a wide, flabby face. staring at her. Patsy ignored him and took a seat as far away from the man as was possible. She felt a bit unnerved by his blank stare, so she was relieved when he got off at the next stop.

       As her stop approached Patsy rang the bell and got off when  the bus stopped right in front of the Victorian building that housed the library. She walked quickly into the warmth of the old building. Collecting the books she needed, Patsy sat down at a table in the reference section. She soon became absorbed in her studies and was oblivious to the rustling noises [no comma] as the people around her browsed through their books. 

       A few hours glided by as Patsy did her research. Suddenly[,] she felt a tap on her shoulder. Turning round, she saw the middle-aged librarian glaring at her. "We're closed[,] young woman," she said, pointing to the clock. Patsy jerked her eyes upward toward a window and saw that daylight had completely flown. 
    "I'm so sorry," she said, gathering up her books and returning them to the shelves. Then she stuffed the notes she'd been making  into her bag. Patsy hurried out of the warm library into the cold.winter's night. Luckily she didn't have to wait long for the bus to come and again it was  almost empty. [perhaps add that she was glad to not see anyone as disturbing at the young man had been---which might be an excuse to say something about her feeling nervous about being out alone on her own] The few passengers ignored her as she took a window seat. At her stop she hopped off the bus and began to walk purposefully towards her Hall of Residence. However she felt uncomfortable in the dimly lit street. 

       As she walked along she heard footsteps behind her. At first she didn't want to turn round to see who it was; instead she quickened her pace. But now the footsteps grew louder, Patsy glanced back and saw a shadowy figure getting ever closer. Swiftly[,] she crossed the road and broke into a run, but the figure was closing the gap between them like a grizzly closing in on it's helpless prey. [very nice!]

       Suddenly[,] a heavy[,] sweaty hand was slapped across her mouth and an arm curled around her shoulders as she felt herself being dragged into an alleyway.
    "Don't say a word Piggy, Wiggy. You know what will happen to you if you do," growled a voice. Instantly Patsy recognised the voice. It was Damien Brown. Brown pulled the struggling, slight figure girl behind two dustbins. He tore off her coat with one hand and flung it to the pavement. Then he threw her to the ground as he undid his zip.  He lifted up her skirt and ripped off her panties, then he threw himself on top of her. After he'd finished he stood towering above the shivering, young woman. "So, who's the boss now Piggy Wiggy?" he said. Then he raced into the night.

       Patsy lay on the ground, trembling in fear and pain, as blood trickled onto her thighs and pooled on the cobblestones. She reached out her bruised arms and pulled herself upright, leaning against the wall.
    "I've got to get to my room," she muttered to herself. She picked up her coat and bag and began to hobble unsteadily towards her Hall of Residence. She walked with nervous, jerky steps until she reached the safety of her room.

      Inside, she locked the door and ripped off her violated clothes. Then she staggered over to her wash-basin and filled it with hot water. Picking up her hairbrush she dipped it in the water and soaped it up. Then she scrubbed every part of her body, until her skin was red and raw, as she tried to wash away the pervasive, foul odour of Damien Brown. [too many sentences starting with "then"]

    When she'd finished Patsy threw herself onto her bed and wrapped the comforting blanket around herself. She stared dry-eyed at the ceiling but as the memory of the dreadful rape invaded her thoughts, she began to sob. Soon tears were streaming down her face[.] "Why, oh why did this happen to me[?]" she whispered into the silent room.

    Is this a bit over the top?  Nope!


    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    Yes, they make up their metaphors and similes. I'll check out their books later. Often when they read their short stories or poems,

    They may have a place in poetry because it's poetry! But they should perhaps be avoided in fiction because many people may not understand what they mean. Is it not best to just say what you mean so that everyone understands it?

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    It's easy for something to become a cliche, especially if it's really catchy. As someone once said of Shakespeare, "His plays are just one cliche after another."

    True.

    This series is amusing >>

    https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x4ewx3m

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    Gosh it's hard work doing all you suggested

    Indeed it is  :)

     and this is only one scene I've a whole book to revise!! Is this better?

       It was a dull, windy, Thursday afternoon. Patsy decided to head for the bright lights

    Is in Las Vegas?

     of the Central Library. Putting on her dark blue winter coat and shoving a hat on her head, she grabbed her bag and headed for the exit.

    Exit of what?

     Outside her breath made clouds as it hit the cold air. Arriving at the bus stop she smiled when she saw the bus trundling towards her. "Good timing," she thought.

    Is she literally thinking that? if so then drop the ".  She is the central character though, so there's no reason you should not know what she is thinking, so type it in, but make it obvious she is not saying it. Be her.

       The bus was almost empty when it arrived . However when she got on she saw a very fat, young man with a wide, flabby face. staring at her. Patsy ignored him and took a seat as far away from the man as was possible. She felt a bit unnerved by his blank stare, so she was relieved when he got off at the next stop.

    Yes that builds up some atmosphere and could build up some tension and perhaps changes the mood she started with, but when he gets off the tension drops. For now. She's a young lady on her own, out at night, only a public bus.

       As her stop approached Patsy rang the bell and got off when  the bus stopped right in front of the Victorian building that housed the library. Quickly she walked into the warmth of the old building. Collecting the books she needed, Patsy sat down at a table in the reference section. Soon she became absorbed in her studies and was oblivious to the rustling noises, as the people in the library browsed through their books.

    That's better, but what is she thinking?  What subject is she researching? Why?

       A few hours glided by as Patsy did her research. Suddenly she felt a tap on her shoulder. Turning round, she saw the middle-aged librarian glaring at her.

    "We're closed young woman," she said, pointing to the clock.

    Patsy jerked her eyes upward and saw that daylight had completely flown. 
    "I'm so sorry," she said, gathering up her books and returning them to the shelves.

    It's possibly a personal thing, but I like to separate speech from the rest of the text and with who is saying it. Not with spaces as it  does here, just on the next line.

     Then she stuffed the notes she'd been making  into her bag. Quickly Patsy walked out of the warm library into the cold, winter's night. Luckily she didn't have to wait long for the bus to come and again it was  almost empty. The few passengers ignored her as she took a window seat.

    Usually people look at who gets on.

     At her stop she hopped off the bus and began to walk purposefully towards her Hall of Residence. However she felt uncomfortable in the dimly lit street.

    And her thoughts? In what way uncomfortable?  As I say, try to BE her.

       As she walked along she heard footsteps behind her. At first she didn't want to turn round to see who it was; instead she quickened her pace. But now the footsteps grew louder, Patsy glanced back and saw a shadowy figure getting ever closer. Swiftly she crossed the road and broke into a run, but the figure was closing the gap between them like a grizzly closing in on it's helpless prey.

    That is far too short. It's almost as if she starts to leg it instantly. Build some tension. And bears do not wear boots, so it must be like something else.

    BTW. What time is it supposed to be? Why is the place deserted?

       Suddenly a heavy sweaty hand was slapped across her mouth and an arm curled around her shoulders dragging her into an alleyway.

    Surely she must have heard him catching up with her? Causing her great fear. And he's jolly bold. I am amazed no one else is around. Surely it's only around 7pm?


    "Don't say a word Piggy, Wiggy. You know what will happen to you if you do," growled a voice.

    Instantly Patsy recognised the voice. It was Damien Brown. He pulled the struggling, slight figure behind two dustbins.


     He pulled off her coat with one hand and flung it to the floor.

    Why did he take it off? It's not in the way.

     Then he threw her to the ground as he undid his zip.

    Giving her time to scream, or to even try to get away.

      He lifted up her skirt, ripped off her panties

    There's no need to remove them, and does she have no tights on? Winter's day, wearing a skirt.

     and threw himself on top of her.

    Would he not have to hold her arms? She could scratch his eyes out. Pin her entire body down? causing great pain and bruising.

     After he'd finished he stood towering above the shivering, young woman. "So, who's the boss now Piggy Wiggy," he hissed. Then he raced into the night.

    What reason does he have to ask who is the boss?

       Patsy lay on the ground, trembling in fear and pain, as blood trickled on to her thighs

    That's remarkable, if she is laying down.

     and pooled on the cobblestones.

    They could be mentioned when he's on top of her, pressing in to her back perhaps. She will still have thoughts.

     She reached out her bruised arms and pulled herself upright, leaning against the wall.
    "I've got to get to my room," she muttered to herself.

    She picked up her coat and bag and began to hobble unsteadily towards her Hall of Residence. Patsy walked with nervous, jerky steps until she reached the safety of her room.

    Still no one around? not even any CCTV? 

      Inside, she locked the door and ripped off her violated clothes.

    She passed no one? Such places are often very busy.

     Then she staggered over to her wash-basin and filled it with hot water. Picking up her hairbrush she dipped it in the water and soaped it up. Then she scrubbed every part of her body, until her skin was red and raw, as she tried to wash away the pervasive, foul odour of Damien Brown.

    A hairbrush? And there's no shower?

    When she'd finished Patsy threw herself on to her bed and wrapped the comforting blanket around herself.

    No duvet?

     She stared dry-eyed at the ceiling but as the memory of the dreadful rape invaded her thoughts, she began to sob. Soon tears were streaming down her face, "Why, oh why did this happen to me" she whispered into the silent room.

    Well, surely there's a back story reason? How far in to the story is this? And >> was she a virgin?

    Is this a bit over the top? 

    Not even close to it  :) 

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