Friday Feedback

Today’s Friday Feedback is provided by Zac. It’s from the end of chapter three of his 24,000 word children’s fiction for 7 to 9 year olds, called The Kangaroo and The Night Rainbow. 

“Then, I had an idea, I took the pendant and snapped it in half, my Lady was surprised by my action. I had no time to explain to her and told her to keep the other half hidden.  I had to act fast because the bandits were edging closer.  I held up my half of the pendant and shouted. “Here’s the weapon!”           

“Digg, the leader growled at me and said, “Throw it over here.” But I refused and I told him, “Before I hand it over, you must let her go.” Digg shouted back, “Why should we, two prisoners are better than one” growling louder at me.  I told Digg that Lady’s badly injured and what good is a dead prisoner, and beside I have the weapon here.” 

“Digg thought for a moment then he agreed to let her go.  He called for his ‘boys” to let her go and motioned for one of his guard to back off. Then he said, “don’t worry boys we can track her anywhere”.


This is an intriguing piece, Zac. and I am interested to find out what’s happening here and why they are prisoners.

I have a few suggestions where you can tighten up the next a bit more. For example, in the first line, I don’t think you need the words, “Then I had an idea.” Seeing as your character is telling their story in first person, we know that they thought to do the action…unless you show someone out suggesting it. Also, seeing as this is written in first person point of view, you wouldn’t know that ‘my Lady’ was surprised unless she told you herself or showed it in some way. You can’t know what’s going on inside someone else’s head unless they show or tell you.

The story becomes more immediate when you show the dialogue and actions. Try to avoid things like “I told her…” Show this happening. It makes it more active for the reader. Dialogue and actions are also a great way to reveal character and increase tension.

When you use dialogue, you need to start each new speaker on a new line…otherwise it can become confusing. Also, if it’s clear that the person doing the action is speak, then you don’t need to say, “he said” etc. Here’s what I mean:

Digg, the leader growled at me “Throw it over here.”

I shook my head, “Before I hand it over, you must let her go.”

Digg shouted back, “Why should we, two prisoners are better than one”

“Lady’s badly injured and what good is a dead prisoner?” I held up the half-pendant. “Besides, I have the weapon here.”

Read your work aloud to yourself and this will help you pick up any word repetition. For example, in the last paragraph you have used the words, “let her go”, twice.

Zac’s specific question was… Issue: When writing this part I am not sure how to write  conversation between two characters as told by a third person from within the story, does this makes sense? You see, one of the main character is telling his story and how do I write about his spoken conversation for the readers?

Zac, you just need to write the conversation as it’s happening. The reader will know that it is being seen through the eyes of your main character so you don’t have to say things like “I saw, I said”.  Show your characters doing things while they are speaking and this will help set the scene for the reader and help them understand who is saying what.

I hope you have found this helpful.

Friday Feedback is taking a break for a couple of months so that I can finish my work in progress.

But please feel free to keep sending your pieces for feedback and I will slot them into the queue.  You can email your 150 word pieces to me. Dee*at*deescribe*dot*com*dot*au

Please include the word length, title, genre and target readership for your story. Also include where the piece comes in your story and any specific questions you have about writing it.

Happy writing:)