Submission for Coaching – SiS

We have a new contributor.  Please welcome SiS, who has bravely stepped up to the plate.

The long road was completely empty due to heavy rain.

Write active sentences.  If you write: the road was empty, you’re saying that the road existed in a state of emptiness, which is passive.  Active sentences, ones where something is performing an action, tend to draw the reader’s interest better.  For this sentence, how about: The heavy rain emptied the road.  Or, let’s add a bit more color and interest: The heavy rain inundated the road, driving the men with their ox carts (or whatever) to shelter.  Note that anytime you see the word “was,” you can usually find a candidate to rewrite into a more active form.

A second comment: if this is the start of your piece, consider introducing a character in the first sentence.  Readers are drawn to characters, not to scenery or weather.  Give us a person to experience the weather through.

Every strong claps of the thunder increased the heartbeat like a cosine wave.

You’ve got a couple of problems here.  First, it’s every clap, not every claps.  Second, you’re introducing a heartbeat, but you don’t have a character.  Whose heartbeat?  Third, how do you increase a heartbeat like a cosine wave?  You’re trying, I think, to say that the heart rate increased with each clap and fell in between, showing the graph to be like a cosine.  This is not what you’re written.  It’s important to be clear and precise in your descriptions.

The flashing lights in the sky lighted up the sky from one end to the other, blurring images of the vehicles that buzzed every odd minute.

You use “the” in front of flashing lights.  You should only use “the” if you’re referencing something you’ve already introduced.  Drop the article and start the sentence with “flashing.”

“Lighted” is okay, but you can also use “lit.”  The former sounds a bit archaic, but that’s fine if that’s what you’re going for. 

You do not need “up.”  Read the sentence with the word and without it.  The meaning doesn’t change.  Whenever you can get rid of an unnecessary word, do so.

Try not to repeat words.  You use “sky” and a form of “light” twice in the same sentence.  Get rid of one instance of each.

You can replace “that buzzed” with “buzzing.”  It’s more active and gets rid of a word.

I’m not sure how the lightning (?) blurred the images of the vehicles.  I would think the light would add clarity if anything.  Same problem as before with “the.”  This is the first time we’ve seen these vehicles. 

I don’t like “every odd minute.”  I think it needs to be something like: buzzing by each minute.”

The moist winds were continuously blowing on my face.

Get rid of adverbs (words ending in ly) where you can.  “Continuously” isn’t needed in this sentence.

Here’s another instance of a form of “was,” but this one is super easy to get rid of.  Simply replace “was + -ing form of verb” with “past tense form of verb.”  In this case, “were blowing” becomes “blew.”

A ray of hope kept me waiting hoping for the last bus to my hometown, even after half past midnight and I was the only living creature sitting on the bench of silicon city bus stop – the bus stop known for buzzing IT Professionals!

The beauty of first person is that you can get inside the character’s head.  Give us an “I” statement here: I kept waiting, hoping that the last bus home would arrive. 

Don’t use “buzzing” as you just used a form of that word.

Avoid exclamation points except for highly emotional moments where people are speaking.  Try not to use them in your narrative.

A blurred woman image holding a white colored umbrella was seen at a distance of 100 meters, which came closer and closer each passing second and at last, it was a beautiful girl and she sat next to me at the bus stop.

Again, if you’re going first person, use “I:” I saw a blurred image…  Break the sentence after meters.  Then start the a new sentence: She came closer, and I gawked at her beauty.

She was wearing a white colored Salwar Kamez. She had a face of an angel. She had worn kajal instead of kohl that added beauty to her powerful eyes.

Avoid starting multiple sentences in a row with the same word.  Some say you should avoid starting any two sentences in the same paragraph with the same word, but I’m not quite that strict.

Her nose was drafted perfectly like a triangle. Her perfect pale pink rose bud lips were inviting to kiss them. Her white complexion could put technologies to shame. Her white colored sandals were her pride, I believe.

Same thing here.  Vary both the starting word and the sentence structure.  Going subject – verb too many times in a row gets monotonous.

She was hot despite her small faulty tummy; in total, she was an Angel and she mesmerized me!

Describe her better here without the use of “was.”  Her face (performed action).  She resembled an angel.  Mesmerized, I (performed action).  Also, don’t overuse “hot.”

She was reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and I was reading her lips. PS: Lip reading 😛

Same thing as above with “was reading.”  The title of the book needs to be in italics.  I don’t know about the repetition of “lip reading” here.  If you’re emphasizing the phrase as “I studied her luscious lips,” then it would work.  If you’re implying that you are actually reading her lips, I’d rephrase.  Get rid of that last part.

She was irritated, so she asked, ‘What?’

Try: Irritated, she said, “What?”  Note that you can use just “said” for your tag since the question mark tells the reader that it’s a question.

‘I’m dying of loneliness. Can you help?’ I said smiling.

Replace the speech tag with a beat (an action).  Speech tags (said) are used only to indicate to the reader who is talking.  If someone acts in a paragraph with speech, the reader knows the person acting and talking are the same.  Change to “I smiled.”

She smiled broadly for the first time and said, ‘Okay!’

Don’t have her smile after you smile.  She could grin.  Also, you can ditch the adverb and the speech tag.  I don’t like “for the first time.”  I sounds like it’s possible that she’s smiling for the first time in her life since you don’t quantify it.

‘Tell me about yourself?’

You’re going to have to work on the dialogue.  It’s one of the hardest things to get right.  This needs to be something more colloquial.  You could throw a clichéd line here, maybe: Who are you and where have you been all my life? 

‘I’m Ritika, working as a Senior Software Engineer. I’m a Facebook addict; in fact, that’s how I met my boyfriend, who happened to share the same corporate tag, and he calls me Riti!’ She said, forgetting to breathe.

This is not good.  You have to draw this out.  Think about it, when a stranger meets you for the first time, do you spit out a whole paragraph of information.  Make the POV character work to draw out the data.

I cursed Mr. Zuckerberg and his co-founders of the social networking site Facebook, managing a smile, as it’s rare to meet a girl aloneat night, and that too a heart stealing beauty.

I don’t think it’s necessary to explain who Zuckerberg is.  He’s pretty well known, and the exposition slows things down.  If you feel you have to explain due to your audience, try something like: I cursed Zuckerberg for creating Facebook.

She smiled and asked, ‘Tell me about you!’

Again, delete the tag and the exclamation point. 

‘I’m Siddesh, working as a Senior Executive Engineer. I’m passionate about writing and I write at Few Unsaid Words. I had a girlfriend but my bad we broke up,a month ago 😦 ’

Do not use emoticons in your writing.  Again, you need to break up the conversation.  People don’t meet and immediately throw out their entire dating history.  Throw in some quips and actions. 

‘Really? Even we broke up last week 🙂 I realized he is not the right guy and all he wanted was flesh.’ She said with tears, looking down, and she kept silent for the next few minutes.

She asked, ‘Are you still in love with her?’

You’ve got some good emotion here, but you need to be more subtle about getting to this point.

I smiled and said, ‘It’s time to move on because she is not going to comeback as my life.’

Try to think of some actions they could perform besides smiling.  They could stand, pace, hit a post, sit, fidget, etc.  Here, it could be: I shrugged.  “She’s not going to come back into my life.”

‘I’m sorry! Anyway, move on, because love is not the life, it is just a part of life. But when you love someone; love her heart and not her flesh, okay?’ She said in a demanding voice. I nodded my head because I loved my girl.

“She demanded” instead of “said in a demanding voice.”  It’s more active.  I’d delete everything before “when.”  Avoid repeating yourself, and try to keep your dialogue short and snappy.

The rain started pouring down heavily in all directions and we were drenched completely by the time she opened her umbrella for us.

Why does the rain start pouring?  The rain poured… is more active than it started pouring.  Try this: The rain poured in sheets, drenching us to the skin.  (too clichéd, but something you can build from) 

Her inner was completely visible as her white dress became transparent; she looked like an ice cream and I could not stop staring at hers, she was hot!

You’re burying the lead with the passivity:  Water turned her dress transparent, revealing her secrets beneath.  I couldn’t take my eyes off her.  She was ice cream.  She was hot!  (I’ll allow the exclamation point there 🙂 )

I wanted to stop staring at hers so I started reading a-day-old newspaper, which I had in my back bag.

“I wanted” isn’t a great descriptor.  Why did you want to stop staring?  Not wanting to appear like a cad (fill in reason of your choice), I pulled a day old newspaper from my bag and read it.

As usual, the hot news was “Pregnant woman found dead in her flat!”

I don’t understand the “as usual” here.  Describe this better.  Do you mean that this story has been repeating for the last several days or do you mean that there have been multiple pregnant women found dead?  Be clear.

BANGALORE WORDS – Bangalore Police officials are trying to determine the cause of a doubtful suicide of a pregnant woman found hanging in her flat, who is working as a software engineer in ABC Enterprises.

I think that last phrase needs to be in a separate sentence.  Something like: The deceased worked as a…

‘Am I too hot to handle?’ She asked smiling mischievously!

‘Well, you are damn hot!’ I said, still looking into the paper.

‘Maybe, that’s why Harish always wanted sex I guess,’ she said.

‘Harish! Did she say Harish? Harish and Ritika? What the F!’

I was shocked! I read the same names in the newspaper.

It would be better to show the part of the story in the paper that contained the names before this revelation.  Move the part below up with the rest of the story.

Ritika was found dead in her flat. She had committed suicide by hanging and the police suspects that her boyfriend Harish could have murdered and hanged her.

She peeped inside the newspaper, laughing, and said ‘I’m Ritika Chaudhary!’

I fainted!

Thanks for submitting the piece.  I hope this helps!


2 thoughts on “Submission for Coaching – SiS

  1. Brian,

    I thank you from the bottom of my heart for this! In fact, people used to tag me as romantic writer, and no one was there to critique my grammar in detail. Usually, readers say, you need to improve your grammar 😦
    ‘Tell me about yourself,’ It is used to symbolise his character as a software engineer. Anyway, I got your point. I will resubmit the article with the suggested changes.

    Thank you!

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