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Constructive criticism? - September 23rd 2009, 02:52 AM

I just recently finished writing a narrative essay for English and I was curious as to what my strong/weak points were and what others thought of it.

The Beauty, The Beast, The Music
Many people wonder what first made me pick up the bass. As a child it was simply an forced obligation from my parents, as most things are at that time, so I treated it as such. I’d resent the very idea of having to spend my time practicing when there were so many other things I could’ve been doing, yet one day - years later when I had gone through the enigmatic transformation that is maturity - I found myself playing with such force and passion that the hairs of my bow began snapping left and right, launching rosin into the air like dust from an aged book upon it’s opening. After this furious display of the beauty that is music, I began to realize that it was more than just sound. Music was my way of expressing myself; all the sadness, joy, and inner conflicts was channeled from my body to this wondrous instrument.

My friends, you see, happened to be the kind who lived by the ‘tough love’ rule, in which you were told to suck it up if you were to mention anything negative. Don’t get me wrong, they were great, enjoyable people, but they seemed to have brought me to a shallow happiness, and my only consolation or outlet for my emotions seemed to be music. No matter how I felt, the music could sympathize. If I was angry, the music could speak to me of others who shared my struggle; if I felt shut out, the music would listen, unconditionally. It is through the unquestionable connection with music that I speak to those around me. Following the revelation of the music’s power, music was much more than just a hobby. It was a passion.

Nowadays, as I play at various gigs, I resolve to inspire or console at least one person with the music at my disposal. As I stand on the stage, the bass speaks it’s own story to those listening. At times it’s furious and violent, striking out at the crowd with a sound of harsh intensity, much like the sound of thunder, scratching at your ears, yet at the same time beautiful. However, the music can often be a source of inspiration and joy, a marvelous spectacle of symphonious magic. It’s amazing that a single instrument can range from a cacophony of roaring distortion to a smooth, placid tone of brilliance.

Thank God for the music; had it not been for the bass, these feelings of loneliness and emotional desertion would have only grown, contained in the ticking time bomb that is my body. As silly or juvenile as it sounds, hearing the ugliness and sorrow that your feeling embodied in the music is truly a relief, knowing that it understands and sympathizes. On the outside I look like an every day man; on the inside I’m a man struggling for control. The struggle is my muse, and the bass my voice.

It's meant to be a narrative off of a picture we got (mine being of a man holding a bass), and you were supposed to incorporate a moral (I won't mention as it should be obvious and....if not, I really need to improve).


"What do we live for, if not to make life less difficult for each other?"
-George Eliot

"Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it."
-Groucho Marx

"Don't be afraid your life will end; be afraid that it will never begin."
-Grace Hansen
   
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Re: Constructive criticism? - September 23rd 2009, 03:40 AM

It's written pretty well and there's very few errors I found, most of the errors are simply grammatical ones. The first is in the first sentence when you write "simply an forced".

In the second paragraph, first sentence, the "you see" part just seems out of place. I understand that you're speaking in first-person perspective, however, the "you see" seems somewhat redundant.

In the second paragraph, fourth sentence, you have a semi-colon in there, however, I think it'd flow a bit better if you removed it because it's such a similar idea as the part before the semi-colon.

In the third paragraph, the beginning sentence starting with nowadays seems to be a bit unusual to have there. If you look at all the other beginnings of the sentences, they don't have a sudden pause at the first word. I just find it to be constructed in a rather unusual way.

In the fourth paragraph, the first part of "thank god", it seems really out of place in the entire narrative and in the first sentence. The entire narrative is centered around you playing the bass and so the random introduction of some divine being is really out of place especially since you don't elaborate on it anywhere else. The rest of that sentence though is quite good, however, if I were you, I'd try to formulate some other introduction to that sentence.
   
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Re: Constructive criticism? - September 23rd 2009, 04:12 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by YourNightmare View Post
In the second paragraph, fourth sentence, you have a semi-colon in there, however, I think it'd flow a bit better if you removed it because it's such a similar idea as the part before the semi-colon.

In the third paragraph, the beginning sentence starting with nowadays seems to be a bit unusual to have there. If you look at all the other beginnings of the sentences, they don't have a sudden pause at the first word. I just find it to be constructed in a rather unusual way.
Thanks very much for the criticism Nightmare, it was exactly what I needed to hear and notice.

As for the semicolon in the second paragraph, fourth sentence, would a period be better suited?

And the "Nowadays" introduction was made more to connect the past revalation to the present, as my picture was of an older man, seemingly professional.


"What do we live for, if not to make life less difficult for each other?"
-George Eliot

"Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it."
-Groucho Marx

"Don't be afraid your life will end; be afraid that it will never begin."
-Grace Hansen
   
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Re: Constructive criticism? - September 24th 2009, 07:08 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWhiteTornado View Post
As for the semicolon in the second paragraph, fourth sentence, would a period be better suited?
The part after the semi-colon seems rather redundant because you're pretty much getting at the same idea as the part before the semi-colon. I think the part before the semi-colon is better and I'd simply remove the part after.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWhiteTornado View Post
And the "Nowadays" introduction was made more to connect the past revalation to the present, as my picture was of an older man, seemingly professional.
It still doesn't "flow" that well and the sentence sounds all jumbled up. I think if you were slightly reword the sentence and lose the "nowadays" or at least don't have it right in the beginning, then it'd sound better. The word "nowadays" is more along the lines of a connector word and since it's the start of a sentence, after you're done reading the last sentence of the previous paragraph you take a short break. The problem is once you begin the new sentence, you read one word and then immediately need another break and a whole bunch more breaks. I think the overall idea in that sentence is a good one but the wording should be changed.
   
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Re: Constructive criticism? - September 25th 2009, 12:53 AM

Thanks everyone, but the paper was turned in yesterday. But like I said, thanks very much


"What do we live for, if not to make life less difficult for each other?"
-George Eliot

"Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it."
-Groucho Marx

"Don't be afraid your life will end; be afraid that it will never begin."
-Grace Hansen
   
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