Login | Register
Enrol now for our new online tutoring program. Learn from the best tutors. Get amazing results. Learn more.

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

January 21, 2021, 12:08:44 am

Author Topic: Free AOS Creative Writing Marking!  (Read 170032 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

elysepopplewell

  • HSC Lecturer
  • Honorary Moderator
  • ATAR Notes Legend
  • *******
  • Posts: 3236
  • "Hey little fighter, soon it will be brighter."
Re: Free AOS Creative Writing Marking!
« Reply #15 on: February 19, 2016, 11:11:38 am »
Hello,
I would be truly grateful if you could direct me with my creative..   :D
I believe that the concept/story line is too basic for a band 6... Do i have to chose a more complicated/unique storyline or are there ways to safe it? And my teacher has told me to change my flashback, but i just have writers block... Could you please suggest some alternate ideas? 


Hey Shaniajas! I'm glad you worked out how to post here :)

Here is your story:
Spoiler
He sensed my repulsion, exposing his brown, cavity dominated teeth through his sly grin, his dry jaundiced face and his balding head quickly evolved into a resemblance of the monsters in my nightmares.
**
The waxy emerald leaves glimmered under the sunlight, complementing the ivory patch that blossomed abundantly throughout the bush. She lost herself in the beauty of the jasmine plant; its sweet aroma pleasing her nose. Sam's butterflies settled down as she picked at the flaking paint from the tiny area of the park bench near her thigh. Only in her sour luck to have her bubble burst by shadows that circled over her like a black coat. Why couldn’t he had come alone?
 “Child, your time has come to join me”, his voice boomed.
Sam flinched at his words, ducking her head down to stare at her quivering  hands, hiding from his piercing gaze.
“Yes, sir,” she timidly answered.
“Girl, you will be protected by my men and if you disobey my orders, you will be punished. I have eyes on you from this day forward,” – psssh what does he mean from this day forward? He had been following Sam since he let her go to university to complete her communications degree.
“As you wish, Father.”
He turned his heel and strutted off towards the lined up black four-wheel drives, leaving Sam to herself.

* **
I wiped the beads of angst away and checked my watch. I waited anxiously on the park bench and looked up at the sea of darkness that now loomed above like a blanket of sequins. The eerie silence of the park told me I was alone despite the distant chatter of the city night – cars running, the bass from the nightclubs and the blabber/conversations from every diner from across the park. I sighed and eyed the package. Convincing myself for the hundredth time that it was what had to be done.

 I ran my fingers through my hair, catching the droplets of unease in between them. Glancing at my watch, it amazed me how some people could be so ignorant of time. My eyes shifted to the once lively bush of jasmines. Their sweet scented and velvet faces had disappeared, only to be replaced by shrivelled bruised clumps that engulfed the dying bush,like a mirror of my reality.

My thoughts, interrupted by a sudden movement from behind and my tear strained eyes darted towards the looming figure that grew larger as the footsteps grew louder. A ball of cheap cologne mixed with body odour surrounded him, increasing the antipathy in me that was established by his tardiness. He sensed my repulsion, exposing his brown, cavity dominated teeth through his sly grin, his dry jaundiced  face and his balding head quickly evolved into a resemblance of the monsters in my nightmares.

I pressed my brows together,
“You’re late”. Ignoring me he wiped his fat bulb nose on the back of his hand and brought his face right up to mine, “You got it?”. The raspy sound made my tongue feel rough and furry, as if I could taste his words, and the way his eyes glimmered in the dull luminescence of the streetlight instigated an odd sense of unease.
“Obviously”, trying to show my confidence, yet my voice gave way. He howled a merciless laugh,
“This isn’t you love”. I glared at him in disbelief, shoving the package into his grubby arms and wondered if he could really read my mind. He snarled, hugging it to his chest as if his life depended on it before scurrying away  off into the shadows. I exhaled a deep long breath that I didn’t realise I was holding. Slowly, shoved my frozen hands into the pockets of my withering jacket and headed to the black van that was supposed to be my solace.

Faint lights of the city shimmered in the horizon, making me freeze. The surreal beauty of the buildings pulled on the strings inside my heart. A gasp escaped as I tried keeping my composure, but one lone regret betrayed me.  What on earth had I done?. I shook my head in disbelief; Is this what my life had entailed?  The remark of the man was still crystal clear in my mind, “This ain’t you love”.

It didn’t take long for me to work it out and as the bile rose in my throat and the pit in my stomach became endless I knew I had been weak. I cursed myself for being just like the others; a faceless puppet played by the strings of time, ignorant of my ultimate fate and dancing to the tune of society, the tune of money. Defeatedly, I raised my hands and gulped the cool night air, which rushed through my body like fire igniting on oil. I knew that couldn’t live a life like this.

I turned and ran, retracing my footsteps back to park and in the direction of the man. The night air became thick as I gasped, my lungs contracting involuntarily. I floundered in the darkness, searching blindly I realised that it couldn’t be done, the man was long gone. By now he had probably devoured the contents and the brown paper bag would be lying in pieces in some gutter. My conscience urged me to keep looking, yet my body screamed for a stop as the weariness took over. As my qualm hovered above me. I had played my part in destroying society. The drugs were his addiction and now my burden of shame.

Here is what I think:
In terms of the flashback, I think it is a little confusing because it doesn't add to your story in the way that it should. I'm confused about the relationship between her and her father. A suggestion: I think you would benefit from having a look at Humans of New York on facebook or instagram. Just last week they finished a series of interviews with American prison inmates, most who were in there because of drug crimes. Definitely have a look and see the reasons people turn to drug crimes, it is very moving. You can play on this component in your flashback. I think, personally, that your flashback should describe some dire circumstance you were in where you were offerred cash easily so you took it. Or, you were doing really well in life but you fell into the crime as a way of easy money. This goes really well with the part about the tune of money. Definitely have a look at some of those stories and I think it will give you a really good idea for what can go in the flashback. If the story is directed in a way of more, she was desperate, she took the opportunity as a one off, here she is now years later and she's discovered the deep deep regret of what she is doing, then that is far more open to applying to a stimulus because the marker can note more levels of discovery.

Let's look at the rubric, I mean her discovery is unexpected, transformative, emotional, with a little enhancement it could be spiritual, to a degree it is physical, it is directed by her circumstances. I mean, there is definitely a lot in here. I think you just need to play up the back story a bit and I think you need to give more of an insight into what she is thinking in the last bit, what exactly has made her tick?

It's a great story - fear not! I love your work.
Not sure how to navigate around ATAR Notes? Check out this video!

elysepopplewell

  • HSC Lecturer
  • Honorary Moderator
  • ATAR Notes Legend
  • *******
  • Posts: 3236
  • "Hey little fighter, soon it will be brighter."
Re: Free AOS Creative Writing Marking!
« Reply #16 on: February 20, 2016, 06:38:53 pm »
Hi, any feedback on my creative writing piece is welcome and needed, advice on how to deepen the discovery of being a 'constant' would be greatly appreciated, Thank you  ;D


Hey there!!! Thanks for posting :)

Your creative story is here:
Spoiler
Unmoving

Thinking back to that time had her eyebrows scrunched together, a familiar feeling in the deepest parts of her stomach arose. Remembering the feeling of being exposed caused  her heart to beat a million times per minute, her stomach to tense and her breathing to become short and laboured almost as if being forced out. Not knowing when it will happen again almost everytime, gives her a panic attack. Almost. Seeing the person that you want to disappear and forget everyday is one thing but being related to them is an entirely different level. How desperate does one have to be to do such a thing. How?

Kicking about in her bed, restless, tired, exhausted. She screams internally frustrated, “WE’RE RELATED FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE”, in an attempt to calm the ever persistent thoughts in her mind.
But to no avail. Disgust and anger soar through her veins, leaving nothing but trails of fire spreading destructively throughout her body. The feeling of slight wind from her untamed hair flying wildly across patches of sweat on her forehead and neck, give her a slight sense of satisfaction and ease. Adrenaline continuously pumping in every vessel within her tiny, fragile body adds to the intensity of the burning sensation. Hearing her own heavy breaths, she attempts to calm herself.
‘His actions won’t control you’, she tells herself - but she knew better.

Desperate to distract herself from the daunting memory - even if it is for a short while - she decides to go on her phone. The door swings open,
“Beth have you seen my work clothes?”, he asks.
Blatantly ignoring him, she continues to stare at her phone. Face plastered with the look of utter disdain, disgust and loathe. ‘How dare he’, she thinks. Her body, having just slightly calmed down now burned with a profound heat, spreading uncontrollably like a wild bush fire consuming her very being. Eyebrows scrunched tightly together. Hands clenching the phone scarcely, before slipping due to the sweat emitting from the pores of her hand. Every muscle in her body tense. She could barely hold in her breaths to minimise the heavy sound of her breathing. Suffocation. That’s what it felt like. No that’s what it was.

Seconds later she hears his familiar footsteps faintly disappearing down the hallway, her head perks up to where he stood, the door once again closed. Letting out a relieved sigh, eyebrows slightly less scrunched together, she casually throws her phone to the side whilst mock imitating him. She falls back onto her bed rolling her eyes, exhausted. She can’t bring herself to be normal around him anymore. How could she? He acts as if he did nothing. Her arms cross against her chest, on top of one another, and slowly travels up her arms and enclose in on her shoulders. Rolling on to her side still clutching her shoulders, she curls into a fetal position. What a low life. What scum of the Earth.

‘To think I’m related to him’, the inevitable truth disgusts her to the pits of her stomach. In turn her face morphs into a look of revulsion and her repugnance at the thought, so much so she can’t bare to fathom it. She closes her eyes tightly while clenching her shoulders in a vain attempt to hug herself, whilst simultaneously bringing her legs further up till they could go no further. How? How does one do such a thing. Many times she pondered, yet at the end of each remembrance all that is left are strong, breathing feelings of disgust, anger and hatred.

Hatred for the fact he ruined their relationship. Although they weren’t extremely close, they had their moments when it was pleasant. Hatred for the fact he ruined what family was to her. What he was to her. Family. The one word that was to bring comfort, love and happiness to her, was now tainted with the dark memory that will forever haunt her. And yet here she was, wallowing in her own self-pity. Where was he? Not caring, not showing any remorse. She was overcome with acute nostalgia for the days where everything was normal. Normal. An overused used word. A word she will gladly be part of again.

***

Her alarm blaring its ringtone was what woke her up. When she fell asleep, she had no idea. Looking for her phone, tinges of pain and numbness were felt all across her arms and back as she untangled herself and saw she had not moved from her fetal position. Grabbing her phone while gently massaging her stiff shoulder she sees multiple notifications from Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and emails that have taken over her notification bar. She scrolls through to find any that seemed urgent. Not finding any she goes through her messages and notifications one by one.

One picture in particular caught her attention. It wasn’t anything special or unique. She stared and she stared, until her eyes teared up. From not blinking or from realising her ultimatum she didn’t know. What she did know was - it was her. She was staring at a reflection of herself. It was a picture of a woman and two boys having a picnic. But while they were having a picnic, cars, people playing rugby, people walking, people talking were in the background seemingly blurred out as if caught by the camera moving. The only constant, unmoving persons was the woman and the two boys. Constant. Living life as a constant involves letting things pass you, letting people get the best of you and getting stuck in the moment. Tears started to fall. They were constants.

Instead of doing a sentence/paragraph breakdown here like I have for others - I want to just write an end comment. The reason being, most people at this stage in the HSC won't necessarily have a tight control of language like you do. No doubt this comes naturally to some, but writing can always be pruned to a great level. Your writing is wonderful that even in the first paragraph, I was seeing superb sentence variation, non-overthetop language, and a really distinct voice.

Unfortunately, while your writing is great, the storyline itself is not so clear to me. I think this is what is obstructing me from appreciating your text as a discovery text. I'll tell you where the gaps are for me:
1. Who is the predator and what did they do exactly?
2. Is the image that the persona sees - actually her? Or is it of other people but she finds a resemblance of her circumstance there??
3. The constant/unmoving. This bit isn't resonating with me - but I feel it could be something brilliant. The reflective, gentle epiphany makes for a great ending to a discovery text - I just can't link it back to the start.
I hope you take this in good faith and know that I'm not trying to pull you down here. I think this story has a lot of potential, I just need a little more information to follow the plotline the way it should be followed. I'm wondering if you are going for a euphemism approach? Not wanting to go into graphic details? This too, is wise. I will just need a little more rope to pull myself into the story.

Please don't be discouraged from re-posting! Like I said, your writing in this is so impressive - I can't even imagine how killer this creative will be when the plot line meets that same level! Next time you post, we can work on the discovery and when that is definitely down pat - we can prune the language to perfection! You're a great writer. Keep on writing!
Not sure how to navigate around ATAR Notes? Check out this video!

MC Latte

  • Fresh Poster
  • *
  • Posts: 2
  • School: Green Point Christina College
  • School Grad Year: 2016
Re: Free AOS Creative Writing Marking!
« Reply #17 on: February 20, 2016, 09:33:44 pm »
Thanks heaps for this offer! Would greatly appreciate someone having a look at my discovery story. Of particular concern for me at the moment is how to end it fittingly and emphatically so as make an impact on the marker. I'm not sure if the current hair motif is good enough. Any general feedback of other things that could be improved would be awesome too haha.Thanks again! :D

Dust and Dreams

The desolate land surrounds him, the curvature of the dry earth clear. He drags his reluctant feet a few more metres, before stopping and leaning on the rusty shovel. Drew can never truly rest. Not until he has found another water source. He glares across the barren moonscape, bereft of moisture. Bereft of life.

Empty wheezing is all his ears register over the insistent wind; it’s a painful melody.
“I really need to do something about this asthma.” The persistent thought echoes in his weary skull. He tightens his light jacket against his face, protection from the incoming gale. His tongue hangs lifelessly in his mouth like a dead fish from the dried riverbed, roasting in the relentless sun. He squints back at his quickly disappearing footprints in the ground, running his calloused fingers vigourously through his patchy grey hair.

The intense heat of the afternoon Charleville sun radiates off the spade, glaring into his tired eyes and bringing him slowly back to his present. A shovel and a hole un-dug. Water, precious water, lies in wait many metres below the rocky ground. He hopes.
“Might as well get on with it,” he mutters wearily.
Drew tightens his weathered grip on the spade and drives it into the dirt. The solidity of the ground jolts through his already aching arms and back, yet he presses on. Another thrust, then another. He perseveres; motivated by the need for water, for the vitality he hopes is there.

It has to be there…

As the hours crawl by, he turns repeatedly in the direction of home, kilometres away. He is puzzled to notice that he can’t see as far back as he could before. The horizon seems to loom in, palming a hidden menace. Spirals of dust dance in the gale, increasingly thick and frenzied.
Finally exhausted, Drew pauses and inhales on his puffer, squinting under a darkening sky. The sun is merely an indistinct smudge on the western horizon. He strains on his tiptoes to peer out of the hole he has made, his eyes almost beaten shut by the amassing wind.

As a black cockatoo screeches loudly in the sky, he begins to contemplate the journey home. Yet, he feels completely drained…

In every sense of the word.

He sighs deeply, pulling himself labouriously from the hole in the torrid earth. Drew surveys his work dismally. A parched two-metre crater in the dirt mocks him from below, as he staggers momentarily against the relentless wind. Absent-mindedly running his hand back and forth on his scalp, Drew decides that the water will have to wait until tomorrow.
“Not that the water’s going anywhere,” he smiles wryly, scratching away the itchy tuft of fallen hair on his wrist, “unless this wind picks up any more.” His smile fades as he feels his windpipe tighten again almost immediately.

He shakily removes his inhaler from his pocket, clumsily sucking on it as he realises how severely the dusty wind is affecting him. Feigning calmness, Drew settles on his safest option. He scuttles back into the hole to wait for the wind to dissipate. However, it soon becomes clear that it is worsening. A feeling of dread slithers up his tense spine like an angry taipan.

The asthmatic’s worst nightmare. A dust storm.

Just breathe Drew.

In the hole with his jacket on his face and puffer in hand, he might be safe. Might be.

The storm, the moaning and coughing, the rocky ground and the taste of sandy defeat assault his senses for hours. Drew focuses on calming his rasping breaths, whilst unconsciously tugging at his hair for comfort. As he does this, his aching legs scrape back and forth on the ground in front of him, wearing two deepening grooves into the earth. The darkness of evening settles in, until Drew can no longer see his trembling hands before him.

Just breathe.

This is how he spends a few perturbed hours in the pitch black, before finally shutting down into a disturbed doze.

*                    *                    *
Silence.

Drew slowly drifts back into his painful reality; cramped, dehydrated and disoriented. Carefully, he unfolds his complaining body and sits with his back leaning on the wall. He tilts his neck deliberately into the bright morning, to see that the horrors of last night seem to have passed.
Next, Drew methodically brings himself to a standing position, stretching uncomfortably. His eyes eventually come to rest on the shovel, lying on the ground beneath his feet.
“Well that explains why I’m so damn sore,” he coughs. “I gotta get out of here…” The small remark causes him to grab at his throat, massaging the sharp blades within.
At this point, Drew cautiously pokes his head out into the open. Despite the dust-blanketed landscape, the air is fresh. He slowly removes the jacket from his face and pockets his puffer, releasing the aching stiffness of his fingers around it.

Drew purposefully raises the shovel high into the air, feeling sweet oxygen slowly filling his deflated lungs. He releases a clear, deep breath and plunges the shovel into the soil with refreshed vigour. Ready to pull himself from the earth, Drew positions his hands around the rim of the hole.

Suddenly, a strange bubbling noise spurts from below. He feels his socks moisten, relief spilling in through the top of his filthy boots. In sodden disbelief, Drew casts his gaze downwards.

A shout of delight emanates from his parched lips, as precious water swells around his ankles. Drew sinks to his knees, cupping the water in desiccated palms and tossing handfuls jubilantly over his brow. The liquid continues to rise in the hole as he splashes joyfully, baptised anew by the gushing ground.

And for the first time in a while for Drew, his hair remained comfortably atop his elated head.

jamonwindeyer

  • Honorary Moderator
  • Great Wonder of ATAR Notes
  • *******
  • Posts: 10150
  • The lurker from the north.
Re: Free AOS Creative Writing Marking!
« Reply #18 on: February 21, 2016, 10:46:32 am »
Hi Elese, it would be much appreciated if you could mark this. The context is basically a futuristic view on contempory society, that is of the western and the eastern. The histoically reknown names are just for extra allusion into characters personality. :) :)

Hey Alalamc! Your story is below with a few helpful comments, Elyse may add her own when she gets the chance!

Spoiler
The Tale of Two Directions

“I’ll be fine, I swear, I’m just gone beyond repair”


1958, April 12th, 4:00 am ‘The East’
The first radiant rays settled upon ‘The East’, in the preferential places of its own, complimented with the boisterous, prominent and pure tones of the distant Church Bells, each a different tone of agony. The aura was scented with the immense fragrance of rich alcohol infused tobacco which quite absurdly, seemed to be gorging on the ‘Eastern’ children’s stomachs… or what was the residual.
This morning, I take time to acknowledge God for the victory he has bestowed not just to the expanding ‘West’ but to my beautiful wife; Rose and I with our new born son. I also pledge my deepest sympathies for the waking sun however compensate it with pleasurable nights. Beautiful use of imagery
Joseph.P.Kennedy


1985, January 3rd, 6:00 am ‘The West’.
Reclining in the backseat of MY Maserati A6GCS Berlinetta, I watched the distressed daylight once again rise from its undesirable demanding journey to the luxuriously, comforting arms of ‘The West’, its blood bleached rays regaining the form of silky smooth butter only to once again be deprived the next morning.
‘The West’ as it was known was a modern 1980’s metropolis, its streets always buzzing with competitive cart owners, spanning  roads in demand of hungry-shoppers between two never ending walls of  majestic sandstone architecture, kneeling either side.
“Sir, shall I continue to drive?” enquired Greer.
Reaching into my back pocket, I pulled out my most cherished possession, reading it religiously like I did so every Sunday every week for the past 18 years. My fathers discarded work entry which I happened upon by accident in 1967 had raised more questions in my apperception than that in your average ‘westerner’, mostly associated with a never before perceived term, ‘East’. All I and Seven billion other westerners knew was that there was just one civilisation and that was ‘The West’.
“Sir?”
“Huh, Oh. Yes Greer, Drive on”

I disembarked MY Maserati once at ‘The Green House’ at 9:00 am ready for General Adolf’s address. Upon entering the ‘Main Hall’ I looked over my first order marines from my designated seat on stage, observing an empty seat in Row 1 Column 2.

“Manoeuvre right soldier” I signalled to the marine on the borderline.
“Good Morning, John. How you doing?”
“Eh, Oh, Wondrously Sir Adolf, Sir.” (Salutes) Avoid using 'stage direction' style verbs unless you are specifically writing a script. Try incorporating it like you have done elsewhere
“That a boy, Marine! Oh, Henry, don’t distress about soldier no.25… just retain your cadets in line!”
“Jarred? Sure Sir Adolf, Sir” I responded to the all too habitual phrase and took my seat for the upcoming address.

“…My dear humanity; ‘The West’, that is why I myself, have and will continue to with great hindrance and predicament revive the world for you, your future and the broader community…Rest assured I will only grant the yellow Dandelions, our nation, to blossom in God’s young garden…Thankyou” This address isn't as powerful as you could make it, because it seems like it lasts 10 seconds. Try adding some character reaction between individual phrases for dramatic effect.
(Audience Applauds) See above

Following the address, my tall alpine like figure advanced out onto the sun bleached streets, accompanied by a long blood coloured cloak covering my vigorously large lifeless shoulders, flapping in accordance with the rhythm of the cold winters wind. Greer, my butler stood lingered on the threshold of  MY Maserati,  his plump figure, colossal eyes as big as over-sized grapes, bloodless bleached complexion and short white hair waiting patiently waiting to drive me home. At this point, I'll say that your imagery is technically proficient, but it isn't adding anything plot wise. Imagery should be used for a purpose, and at this point, it does seem like you are overdoing it ever so slightly
“I bought your flowers Sir, lilies as always”
 
(Sound of car door closing) See above
“Cheers Greer”
Arriving home I was reunited with the hallow tranquillity bought with fathers 75 billion pounds, who now, being retired, was dispatched to where all resigned marines were *somewhere*. I would fix the mechanics of this sentence, maybe add "Somewhere" with an ellipsis or as a separate sentence, create that pause to emphasise the next word, because it is powerful Approaching the courtyard I gazed at the bed of the only soulful body that had existed within father’s lifeless barricades and began to enunciate my prayers, placing her favourite white velvet lilies on her bloodless nurturing chest. This is beautifully written

As I was doing so, I noticed a small cornflake crisp This is an example of imagery for imagery's sake. Calling an envelope cornflake crisp adds nothing to your conceptual ideas. envelope behind mothers tomb, opening it up I sat there in astonishment as I gazed upon the one and only map of the east
I was going. Didn’t think twice! (Inversion?)This seems like an important thing to emphasise, give more reflection to. It is very rushed.

1985 JANUARY 5th, 23:00pm ‘The East’
Dead Birds, Dry Grass, Purple hazy skies
Little sunlight reached the brown subdued landscaped due to the vast outlying dry leafed canopy, off which salty water trickled down, unnerving every sense, slowly driving me mad with its regular rhythm. The thin crisp leaves crackled as the weary branches swayed in cohesion with the soon to be warm midnight wind.

 “O Com’on now. Them Bulls be spott’in ye any minute, especially at curfew”
“Who spoke? Declare Yourself!?” I whispered falteringly
Out of the lifeless depth rose a young child wearing nothing but anguish and ill-fitting bleached army trousers. His protruded skeletal bones gripped his crusty skin, his lungs grasped for nourishment, his pupils, rich with universal colours beamed straight through my frigid blue eyes, blinking only to clear the rich pasty conjunctiva that deterred his focus.
(Child Wheezing)
“I figured a resenter must be ere…Everyone was run-in away you see…You look diffwent”
He shuffled back and diverted his gaze.
“Ar’ you a Bull” he stuttered.
“What? Bull? …Where did you get those”, I gestured, eyeing down the spirited army attire complimenting the boys suppressive rags.

That exchange was extremely confusing for the reader.

Before the young boy could talk
Gunshots cracked into the warm silent air, loud as thunder but without the raw power of a storm. The blood that had once flowed thick and scarlet in the youth’s veins was clasped in his callused fingers, generations of rich fluid mercifully devouring the little vitality within his young soulless body, like that of water in hot oil. I really like this use of imagery here, especially given the subject matter, it is a powerful form of euphemism almost
Death hung heavy in the air, its foul smelling essence filled the sharp, dense and dispassionate hearts of the mirthful, elderly men that followed.
The eldest man fixed his gaze upon me
“John, John F Kennedy”, my mouth unwillingly splurged.
“Well I’ll be. You sure ain’t from around here son… Come with us, we’ll take you someplace… safe”, he replied gingerly.
Reluctantly, I followed. Why would the character follow? I question the motives, and this makes me question the story.


1985 JANUARY 5th, 23:00pm
The soles of my feet wailed in joviality upon the sight of the old fossil shuddering on the hill, thirsty for the morning’s luscious silky rays to warm its weary walls and caress its dying timber floors. The faint humming from the back of the house seemed to scrape off the struggle of any free emotion left inside of me. The old man signalled goodbye to his mates.

(Resenters singing Rolling Stones; Dandelion)
“Tinker, tailor, soldier, sailors livesRich man, poor man, beautiful, daughters wives“Sun lilies don't tell no lie”“Moon lilies  will make you wise”“Tell me if she laughs or cries”Blow away dandelion, blow away dandelion” Interesting allusion, I'm not personally catching the meaning, I understand the link to the speech from earlier, but what is the conceptual meaning?

(Singing fades)

“Take a seat, Chap…Shall I get you something to drink?” the man said positioning his gun on the counter.
“…Yes”, I replied quite sternly
The elderly man’s, cold grim wrinkles compressed to form a valley of never ending caverns, hollow with the passion of tenderness and as salty the deep pacific currents evoking an all too familiar childhood memory.
“FATHER?!”
The old oak timber creaked slowly open revealing a young man dressed in red shorts with the all too familiar army jacket carrying 2 glasses of fine red wine. The discipline of his emotions was reflected in his dishevelled uniform.
“JARRED?!... What is going on… and YOU, why did you kill him… Where am I?” I splurged hastily. I would say that, reaching this point in your narrative, you aren't using dialogue effectively. I don't believe the character would actually say this. Try to keep speech minimal and powerful, it is difficult to compose entire conversations which are believable
“Settle down John”, father said sternly in his evocative tone.
“You won’t understand, this is what we’re for, the army’s for… his is the right way. Would you like to live in a society with these greedy mutts? OK?
“No… NO!” I said as bitterly
“I am sorry John.. You know what happens to people who refuse  the ways of the West, they get sent here and they work and get tortured, made examples for what the East calls their ‘pathetic heroes”… I can’t see you get tortured John, Do you understand?... I’m going to have to kill you.”
As father reached back for the pistol, the sound of 3 gunshots ripped through his chest, it was Jarred.
“You ok?”
“I’ll be fine, I swear, I’m just gone beyond repair… We need to stop this, for the better”
“You have all us real marines beside you John, don’t you forget that, just say the word”
The first soothing radiant rays settled upon The East, in the preferential places of its own complimented with the boisterous, prominent and pure tones of the soon to be blossoming community, each a different shade of happiness. The aura was scented with the immense fragrance of children dreams which quite absurdly, seemed to be gorging on the ‘Western’ marine’s shadowed intellect. I like the repetition used in this ending, quite powerful
I take this time to thank God for this privilege; surely no man can discover new oceans without first losing the sight of the shore.
John. F Kennedy


I would say on the whole that you really know how to use your techniques. Imagery, repetition, allusion, figurative language, all blended in quite a sophisticated and verbose writing style. However, I will say that the effectiveness of the techniques is lost on the fact that the plot is somewhat confusing. What I think is happening is that you are devoting a lot of time (PS - This is a 1400 word story, you will have to cut it down to use it in an exam scenario) to techniques, and the plot just becomes an afterthought. You describe scenes and characters extremely effectively, but then the actual plot development is rushed. This also means that your conceptual focus is not quite there. 'Discovery' isn't coming through as clearly as it could be; I don't get clear cut concepts out of this narrative. Also, there are a few grammatical errors in there: Word should pick them up, they aren't too serious.

So, my summary would be to really focus and reflect on what Discovery concepts you are wanting to push, and adjust your story so that this is pushed, by giving some more attention to the plot. You can push concepts with imagery and other techniques, but they need a solid plot behind them. Your embellishments (techniques, imagery, etc) are powerful, but they are lacking a solid backbone.

I really like some of the stuff you have done in there though. Some of your imagery and word choice is absolutely wonderful, very powerful, you definitely can craft an awesome creative writing piece here if you put some work into it  ;D

therealqwerty

  • Fresh Poster
  • *
  • Posts: 4
  • School: Penrith Christian school
  • School Grad Year: 2016
Re: Free AOS Creative Writing Marking!
« Reply #19 on: February 22, 2016, 05:52:35 am »
10:46 am
You sit there in maths, your eyes stare at the board. In the background of your teachers mumbling jargon the tick tick ticking of the clock catches your attention and reminds you that in fourteen minutes it's recess and that none of this matters. What your teacher is saying is probably important, however no matter how hard you try you don't understand. As you look in front of you, the old textbook with yellow pages lays open accumulating the surrounding dust. The torn and folded, yet thick pages are full of carefully typed questions a diagrams which have fades slightly over the past 40 years they have been used. To you this makes less sense than the jargon your teacher speaks.

10:48 am
Tick tick, twelve minutes, time seems to go on for ever. Your teacher walks up to the board with a coloured marker in her hand. The board slowly changes from a vast array of whiteness to having colourful numbers and letters, which appear to swim like little fish across the board. The board once resembled your mind, however this new coloured nonsense has changed this. Still you look at the board trying to make something out of this nonsense.

10:49 am
You stare blankly at the board. Pens all around you reach the paper and scribble something that is a wonderful masterpiece for some. The more you stare at these carefully arranged numbers and letter the more your brain blanks out. Still your fingers curl around the pen in such a way that you pick it up and place it to this white paper with carefully ruled faint blue line. Your hand slowly moves neatly copping the colour of the board. Then nothing. Your mind can't produce anything, no masterpiece, only the tick tick ticking of the clock. Eleven minutes to go. Nothing else magically appears on your page. While all the class have their heads down and their pens run across the page you sit there with nothing.

10:52am
The colourful nonsense was erased into a vast white board still representative of your thoughts. However this didn't last long before again the marker made an irritating screeking noise as it moved across the board adding new numbers and letters for the class to solve. You Pen touches the pages to neatly copy down what's on the board at the top of your page. You place your pen down and your eyelids touch and squeeze tightly close. You then open them hoping for a renewed perspective on the colour which fills the board, however, nothing comes to you. Your mind is still blank so you sit there helpless your mind focused on the ticking of the clock, only 8 minutes left of class.

10:53 am
Your teacher comes over to you, interrupting your minds focus on the clock. She appears to notice your blank mind from the outside.  "May I help you? Is there any thing I can help with?" She quires. You realise that it is the blank page in front of you which is just as blank as mind. You nod with uncertainty, un sure if that nod was a good decision. Your teacher walks over each step one at a time, point at letters and numbers.

10:55 am
As your teacher leaves you table having explained the colour of the board your eyes are fixed to your page which has the neatly copied down question at the top of your page. Just like the twenty four other students in your class your pen races across your page it's ink leaving behind the solution.  You are no longer clueless, and your mind is no long fixed on the tick tick ticking of the clock which tells your there is five minutes left. You mind is now fixed finding the solution.
10:59 am
You finally finish the problem. Everyone around you seems to have finished earlier, however The tick tick ticking of the clock grabs your attention again, you realise it's one minute before the bell. With much relief of finally understanding the solution to the problem you shut the dusty old textbook close with a slam.

11:00am
The beep of the bell causes a loud slam of textbooks closing in unison, before a stampede of students race out the door for recess. This was what you had been waiting for however the understanding maths as a pleasant surprise.





I don't know if the discovery is too simple

elysepopplewell

  • HSC Lecturer
  • Honorary Moderator
  • ATAR Notes Legend
  • *******
  • Posts: 3236
  • "Hey little fighter, soon it will be brighter."
Re: Free AOS Creative Writing Marking!
« Reply #20 on: February 22, 2016, 11:44:47 am »
Thanks heaps for this offer! Would greatly appreciate someone having a look at my discovery story. Of particular concern for me at the moment is how to end it fittingly and emphatically so as make an impact on the marker. I'm not sure if the current hair motif is good enough. Any general feedback of other things that could be improved would be awesome too haha.Thanks again! :D

Sure thing MC Latte!

Dust and Dreams

The desolate land surrounds him, the curvature of the dry earth clear. He drags his reluctant feet a few more metres, before stopping and leaning on the rusty shovel. I enjoy the personification of the feet here. Really good work.Drew can never truly rest. Not until he has found another water source. He glares across the barren moonscape, bereft of moisture. Bereft of life.

Empty wheezing is all his ears register over the insistent wind; it’s a painful melody.
“I really need to do something about this asthma.” The persistent thought echoes in his weary skull. He tightens his light jacket against his face, protection from the incoming gale. His tongue hangs lifelessly in his mouth like a dead fish from the dried riverbed, roasting in the relentless sun. He squints back at his quickly disappearing footprints in the ground, running his calloused fingers vigourously through his patchy grey hair.

The intense heat of the afternoon Charleville sun radiates off the spade, glaring into his tired eyes and bringing him slowly back to his present. A shovel and a hole un-dug. Water, precious water, lies in wait many metres below the rocky ground. He hopes.
“Might as well get on with it,” he mutters wearily.
Drew tightens his weathered grip on the spade and drives it into the dirt. Your imagery is great, ironically I think the next step to enhancing it is to minimalise it. Perhaps the "weathered" grip here is a bit too much and takes away from the starkness of the imagery. The solidity of the ground jolts through his already aching arms and back, yet he presses on. Another thrust, then another. He perseveres; motivated by the need for water, for the vitality he hopes is there.

It has to be there…

As the hours crawl by, he turns repeatedly in the direction of home, kilometres away. He is puzzled to notice that he can’t see as far back as he could before. The horizon seems to loom in, palming a hidden menace. Spirals of dust dance in the gale, increasingly thick and frenzied.
Finally exhausted, Drew pauses and inhales on his puffer, squinting under a darkening sky. The sun is merely an indistinct smudge on the western horizon. He strains on his tiptoes to peer out of the hole he has made, his eyes almost beaten shut by the amassing wind.

As a black cockatoo screeches loudly in the sky, he begins to contemplate the journey home. Yet, he feels completely drained…

In every sense of the word. This is a peculiar sentence. It sticks out to me and I can't work out if it is for the right or wrong reason. What are the other senses of the word? Do you mean dehydrated and emotionally drained? I'm curious. The more I think about it, the more I enjoy it. It is a very thought provoking sentence. The isolation, the simplicity, the mystery, it all works well.

He sighs deeply, pulling himself labouriously from the hole in the torrid earth. Drew surveys his work dismally. A parched two-metre crater in the dirt mocks him from below, as he staggers momentarily against the relentless wind. Absent-mindedly running his hand back and forth on his scalp, Drew decides that the water will have to wait until tomorrow.
“Not that the water’s going anywhere,” he smiles wryly, scratching away the itchy tuft of fallen hair on his wrist, “unless this wind picks up any more.” His smile fades as he feels his windpipe tighten again almost immediately.

He shakily removes his inhaler from his pocket, clumsily sucking on it as he realises how severely the dusty wind is affecting him. Feigning calmness, Drew settles on his safest option. He scuttles back into the hole to wait for the wind to dissipate. However, it soon becomes clear that it is worsening. A feeling of dread slithers up his tense spine like an angry taipan.

The asthmatic’s worst nightmare. A dust storm.

Just breathe Drew.

In the hole with his jacket on his face and puffer in hand, he might be safe. Might be.

The storm, the moaning and coughing, the rocky ground and the taste of sandy defeat assault his senses for hours. Drew focuses on calming his rasping breaths, whilst unconsciously tugging at his hair for comfort. As he does this, his aching legs scrape back and forth on the ground in front of him, wearing two deepening grooves into the earth. The darkness of evening settles in, until Drew can no longer see his trembling hands before him.

Just breathe.

This is how he spends a few perturbed hours in the pitch black, before finally shutting down into a disturbed doze.

*                    *                    *
Silence.

Drew slowly drifts back into his painful reality; cramped, dehydrated and disoriented. Carefully, he unfolds his complaining body and sits with his back leaning on the wall. He tilts his neck deliberately into the bright morning, to see that the horrors of last night seem to have passed.
Next, Drew methodically brings himself to a standing position, stretching uncomfortably. His eyes eventually come to rest on the shovel, lying on the ground beneath his feet.
“Well that explains why I’m so damn sore,” he coughs. “I gotta get out of here…” The small remark causes him to grab at his throat, massaging the sharp blades within. If he's alone, is he really speaking out loud? It is possible, of course. It does seem odd to me.
At this point, Drew cautiously pokes his head out into the open. Despite the dust-blanketed landscape, the air is fresh. He slowly removes the jacket from his face and pockets his puffer, releasing the aching stiffness of his fingers around it.

Drew purposefully raises the shovel high into the air, feeling sweet oxygen slowly filling his deflated lungs. He releases a clear, deep breath and plunges the shovel into the soil with refreshed vigour. Ready to pull himself from the earth, Drew positions his hands around the rim of the hole.

Suddenly, a strange bubbling noise spurts from below. He feels his socks moisten, relief spilling in through the top of his filthy boots. In sodden disbelief, Drew casts his gaze downwards.

A shout of delight emanates from his parched lips, as precious water swells around his ankles. Drew sinks to his knees, cupping the water in desiccated palms and tossing handfuls jubilantly over his brow. The liquid continues to rise in the hole as he splashes joyfully, baptised anew by the gushing ground. I love the last part of this sentence - it highlights the discovery as being transformative.

And for the first time in a while for Drew, his hair remained comfortably atop his elated head.

Okay, so your story is great. I mean, considering it is a story where there is no progress until the end, I was never bored or waiting for something. I enjoyed it the whole way through so brownie points for you! As for the hair motif ... not strong enough for me. I wouldn't have noticed it except that it ended your story, and then I felt like I needed to go back to pay more careful attention to it. For me, the idea of being drained was so much more powerful. I think that is because of that isolated sentence of being drained in two senses. If I were you, I'd develop the drained notion a little more. The reason being, when you talk about being mentally drained, it heightens the discovery. You physically discover water, your symbolically baptised, and with a little tweaking,t he discovery becomes emotional. Don't forget that you can add a spiritual discovery to this, just by adding towards the end that his spirits had changed, he felt encouraged.

Great job. You've set yourself up to a lot of discovery options here. I will propose, what would happen if your stimulus required you to talk about rediscovering? Would you make it so that he has discovered water before and is now finally touching it again? What if your stimulus said that the discovery was evoked by curiosity and wonder? I'm only throwing these your way so that you can prepare for what you would do, if it would happen. Your story alone is already versatile to the stimulus, you've done a stellar job.
Not sure how to navigate around ATAR Notes? Check out this video!

elysepopplewell

  • HSC Lecturer
  • Honorary Moderator
  • ATAR Notes Legend
  • *******
  • Posts: 3236
  • "Hey little fighter, soon it will be brighter."
Re: Free AOS Creative Writing Marking!
« Reply #21 on: February 22, 2016, 12:00:16 pm »
I don't know if the discovery is too simple.

Hey therealqwerty, I'm dying over your username, I love it.

Here is your story, unedited:
Spoiler
10:46 am
You sit there in maths, your eyes stare at the board. In the background of your teachers mumbling jargon the tick tick ticking of the clock catches your attention and reminds you that in fourteen minutes it's recess and that none of this matters. What your teacher is saying is probably important, however no matter how hard you try you don't understand. As you look in front of you, the old textbook with yellow pages lays open accumulating the surrounding dust. The torn and folded, yet thick pages are full of carefully typed questions a diagrams which have fades slightly over the past 40 years they have been used. To you this makes less sense than the jargon your teacher speaks.

10:48 am
Tick tick, twelve minutes, time seems to go on for ever. Your teacher walks up to the board with a coloured marker in her hand. The board slowly changes from a vast array of whiteness to having colourful numbers and letters, which appear to swim like little fish across the board. The board once resembled your mind, however this new coloured nonsense has changed this. Still you look at the board trying to make something out of this nonsense.

10:49 am
You stare blankly at the board. Pens all around you reach the paper and scribble something that is a wonderful masterpiece for some. The more you stare at these carefully arranged numbers and letter the more your brain blanks out. Still your fingers curl around the pen in such a way that you pick it up and place it to this white paper with carefully ruled faint blue line. Your hand slowly moves neatly copping the colour of the board. Then nothing. Your mind can't produce anything, no masterpiece, only the tick tick ticking of the clock. Eleven minutes to go. Nothing else magically appears on your page. While all the class have their heads down and their pens run across the page you sit there with nothing.

10:52am
The colourful nonsense was erased into a vast white board still representative of your thoughts. However this didn't last long before again the marker made an irritating screeking noise as it moved across the board adding new numbers and letters for the class to solve. You Pen touches the pages to neatly copy down what's on the board at the top of your page. You place your pen down and your eyelids touch and squeeze tightly close. You then open them hoping for a renewed perspective on the colour which fills the board, however, nothing comes to you. Your mind is still blank so you sit there helpless your mind focused on the ticking of the clock, only 8 minutes left of class.

10:53 am
Your teacher comes over to you, interrupting your minds focus on the clock. She appears to notice your blank mind from the outside.  "May I help you? Is there any thing I can help with?" She quires. You realise that it is the blank page in front of you which is just as blank as mind. You nod with uncertainty, un sure if that nod was a good decision. Your teacher walks over each step one at a time, point at letters and numbers.

10:55 am
As your teacher leaves you table having explained the colour of the board your eyes are fixed to your page which has the neatly copied down question at the top of your page. Just like the twenty four other students in your class your pen races across your page it's ink leaving behind the solution.  You are no longer clueless, and your mind is no long fixed on the tick tick ticking of the clock which tells your there is five minutes left. You mind is now fixed finding the solution.
10:59 am
You finally finish the problem. Everyone around you seems to have finished earlier, however The tick tick ticking of the clock grabs your attention again, you realise it's one minute before the bell. With much relief of finally understanding the solution to the problem you shut the dusty old textbook close with a slam.

11:00am
The beep of the bell causes a loud slam of textbooks closing in unison, before a stampede of students race out the door for recess. This was what you had been waiting for however the understanding maths as a pleasant surprise.





I don't know if the discovery is too simple

Here is your story with some annotations:

Spoiler
10:46 am
You sit there in maths, your eyes stare at the board. In the background of your teachers mumbling jargon the tick tick ticking of the clock catches your attention and reminds you that in fourteen minutes it's recess and that none of this matters. What your teacher is saying is probably important, however no matter how hard you try you don't understand. As you look in front of you, the old textbook with yellow pages lays open accumulating the surrounding dust. The torn and folded, yet thick pages are full of carefully typed questions a diagrams which have fades slightly over the past 40 years they have been used. To you this makes less sense than the jargon your teacher speaks. There are some areas here that are waiting for enhanced imagery. Instead of yellow pages, what about "worn pages with a jaundiced tinge"? I'm curious about what level of maths I'm in.

10:48 am
Tick tick, twelve minutes, time seems to go on for ever. Your teacher walks up to the board with a coloured marker in her hand. The board slowly changes from a vast array of whiteness to having colourful numbers and letters, which appear to swim like little fish across the board. The board once resembled your mind, however this new coloured nonsense has changed this. Still you look at the board trying to make something out of this nonsense.  The vast array of whiteness doesn't do it for me here. An array is a range/display. So if there is a range of whiteness on the whiteboard, I'm confused about what this white board really is. How about you go for a metaphor here? Perhaps take a creative metaphor, suggest that it is a canvas and what the teacher writes is some kind of abstract art.

10:49 am
You stare blankly at the board. Pens all around you reach the paper and scribble something that is a wonderful masterpiece for some.This works well with an art metaphor. The more you stare at these carefully arranged numbers and letterS the more your brain blanks out. Still your fingers curl around the pen in such a way that you pick it up and place it to this white paper with carefully ruled faint blue line. Your hand slowly moves neatly copping the colour of the board. Then nothing. Your mind can't produce anything, no masterpiece, only the tick tick ticking of the clock. Eleven minutes to go. Nothing else magically appears on your page. While all the class have their heads down and their pens run across the page you sit there with nothing.

10:52am
The colourful nonsense was erased into a vast white board still representative of your thoughts. However this didn't last long before again the marker made an irritating screeking noise as it moved across the board adding new numbers and letters for the class to solve. You Pen touches the pages to neatly copy down what's on the board at the top of your page. You place your pen down and your eyelids touch and squeeze tightly close. You then open them hoping for a renewed perspective on the colour which fills the board, however, nothing comes to you. Your mind is still blank so you sit there helpless your mind focused on the ticking of the clock, only 8 minutes left of class.

10:53 am
Your teacher comes over to you, interrupting your minds focus on the clock. She appears to notice your blank mind from the outside.  "May I help you? Is there any thing I can help with?" She quires. You realise that it is the blank page in front of you which is just as blank as mind. You nod with uncertainty, un sure if that nod was a good decision. Your teacher walks over each step one at a time, point at letters and numbers.

10:55 am
As your teacher leaves you table having explained the colour of the board your eyes are fixed to your page which has the neatly copied down question at the top of your page. Just like the twenty four other students in your class your pen races across your page it's ink leaving behind the solution.  You are no longer clueless, and your mind is no long fixed on the tick tick ticking of the clock which tells your there is five minutes left. You mind is now fixed finding the solution.
10:59 am
You finally finish the problem. Everyone around you seems to have finished earlier, however The tick tick ticking of the clock grabs your attention again, you realise it's one minute before the bell. With much relief of finally understanding the solution to the problem you shut the dusty old textbook close with a slam.

11:00am
The beep of the bell causes a loud slam of textbooks closing in unison, before a stampede of students race out the door for recess. This was what you had been waiting for however the understanding maths as a pleasant surprise.





I don't know if the discovery is too simple

You're not wrong in saying that the discovery is simple. There is nothing wrong with this for various parts of the rubric. There is something wrong with this when you get a stimulus that you simply can't relate too. However, you have a good skeleton basis for an enhanced story. This is the route I would take. I suggest you compare mathematics and visual arts. I've already suggested the place for a metaphor up there. The idea would be that you can't see the two as being comparable at all and you prefer art. Then when you start treating the maths equation like an artwork, you finally can see the answer and it no longer seems so distant and bizarre. This is an idea that I'm presenting to you because it makes your story more complex but also adds new elements of discovery that the original story didn't hold. Keep on keeping on!
Not sure how to navigate around ATAR Notes? Check out this video!

MC Latte

  • Fresh Poster
  • *
  • Posts: 2
  • School: Green Point Christina College
  • School Grad Year: 2016
Re: Free AOS Creative Writing Marking!
« Reply #22 on: February 22, 2016, 12:35:45 pm »
Thank you very much Elyse! Yeh I was thinking of changing the hair motif and thanks for the suggestion of expanding the drained feeling. I'll try and come up with a better way of ending it too with that idea in mind.
And with that sentence it is meant to mainly mean drained as in devoid of water but also the connotation of being emotionally spent as well. Thanks heaps for your time!

elysepopplewell

  • HSC Lecturer
  • Honorary Moderator
  • ATAR Notes Legend
  • *******
  • Posts: 3236
  • "Hey little fighter, soon it will be brighter."
Re: Free AOS Creative Writing Marking!
« Reply #23 on: February 22, 2016, 12:45:23 pm »
Thank you very much Elyse! Yeh I was thinking of changing the hair motif and thanks for the suggestion of expanding the drained feeling. I'll try and come up with a better way of ending it too with that idea in mind.
And with that sentence it is meant to mainly mean drained as in devoid of water but also the connotation of being emotionally spent as well. Thanks heaps for your time!

I love your work MC Latte. Post back any time :)
Not sure how to navigate around ATAR Notes? Check out this video!

elysepopplewell

  • HSC Lecturer
  • Honorary Moderator
  • ATAR Notes Legend
  • *******
  • Posts: 3236
  • "Hey little fighter, soon it will be brighter."
Re: Free AOS Creative Writing Marking!
« Reply #24 on: February 23, 2016, 10:09:21 am »
Here goes...
Hey Elyse, please read my Creative. I'm in desperate need of help, so much so that I have finally found the confidence to post haha.
Thanks!

Yay! I'm so glad to see you here Simone.

Here is a copy of your story unedited:
Spoiler
‘We regret to inform you that your application for graduate study was unsuccessful’. A single drop crept down my cheek as I read that line in my head over and over again, causing me to grip the letter even harder this time. The once smooth edges of the paper were now filled with small lines which branched out from the corners of the page, creating a delicate pattern that mimicked the handiwork of a patient artist. I sat there tracing them with my thumb, the repetitive movement mesmerising me and numbing the pain I felt; temporarily. The hustle and bustle of the waking city was not enough to distract me from my worries. Screeching car noises and the occasional sound of a siren could not fill the emptiness I felt as I sat on the cold pavement in front of my apartment, watching people begin their day whilst I speculated about the possibility of my non-existent future.

The swaying movement of a sleek, black briefcase caught my attention as my eyes scanned over a trench coat and finally making their way to put a face to the hurried individual. I was taken aback by how pompous he looked; with his head tilted downwards and walking in a sidestepped manner, as if avoiding the possibility of the Manhattan crowd stepping on his shiny Italian shoes. His booming, authoritative voice barked orders through his phone as he caught my stare for a few moments, long enough for me to look into his shallow eyes. Annoyance filled his face as he bumped shoulders with a homeless man, confirming his brash persona as he continued along the street crossing and finally, out of my sight. I found his behaviour intriguing, as I pondered upon how someone who seemingly had everything could behave in such a manner.

It was then that I decided to take a walk through the city, eager to forget about the letter and the strange businessman. I soon found myself in Central park and sat down on a park bench.  In front of me sat a man in his late fifties, wearing tattered clothes and a beanie. His hands were folded in front of him, his nails caked in dirt. My eyes slowly made their way to his face and what I saw left me dumbfounded. His eyes were sunken and his cheeks hollowed, yet the big smile he gave me reached his eyes, revealing two rows of yellowed teeth. He was the homeless man that bumped into the business man.

 I gave him a timid smile, embarrassed that he caught me staring. My mind began to wander off again when his raspy voice addressed me: “Hello, would you mind if I sat next to you?” I shuffled over to the end of the bench, creating a greater space between us than needed. “I promise I don’t bite” he chuckled. His chuckle slowly developed into an eruptive laughter, only to be cut short by a series of hoarse coughs. “I wasn’t always like this.” He confessed. Puzzled, I turned towards him. “A little over a year ago, I was managing the top financial firm in New York City.” He paused, placing a hand over his chest and began to take deep breaths, wincing with every breath. “Are you ok?” I asked as he closed his eyes. He spoke slower this time. “I had a stable job and a some-what loving family until I was diagnosed with lung cancer. My wife and son managed to undermine me while I was at my weakest and took over the company.” I was slightly dazed, not knowing how to react with the information he was voluntarily giving me. “People often ask how I manage to keep a smile on my face. I bet you’re wondering the same thing too.” I nodded, curious to know how anyone could come out of such an adverse situation with a smile. “Your career isn’t everything; at the end of the day, we carry nothing with us to the grave. All that money I used to have, bought me nothing but temporary happiness. Even with everything in the world, I felt like I had nothing. I now know that and live every day to help others because that’s the true meaning of life.” he said as he stared off into the distant city skyline, eyes filled sorrow and regret. He turned back to me and gestured toward my coat pocket. “I know that look on your face and I’m here to tell you that a rejection letter does not determine your personal worth. Choose to find true happiness” he said with a sympathetic look in his eyes and slowly got up, giving me a slight wave before filling the silence with the shuffling of his feet.

That night, I was at war with sleep; tossing and turning until I felt like a defeated wrestler. Pillows were sprawled everywhere, the once comforting sheets now tangled between my legs; holding me down. I shifted my weight to my hip, slowly sitting up amongst the mess that covered my bed. I inched closer to the window and began to escape into a reverie as I watched the busy streets of New York City.

Watching the ant like movement of people made me think about the strangeness of it all; how everyone in this city manages to live separate lives, in a ‘bubble’ if you will. Every individual walking past another, not glancing once to think about the person next to them yet both somehow managing to fit into this microcosm of the greater world to find the true meaning of life.  It’s an interesting phenomenon, really. Because now I know: your personal worth is not determined by your qualifications, or how much money you make, but rather how you find your true happiness and share it with others.

And here is a copy of your story which will be annotated as I make my first reading. Afterwards I'll write some endnotes. What you'll be reading here are my first reactions and opinions so that you can gain the insight of how someone who has never read your work feels.
Spoiler
‘We regret to inform you that your application for graduate study was unsuccessful’.
^^This needs to be on its own line - it needs independence, isolation and a chance to resonate with the reader.^^
 A single drop crept down my cheek as I read that line in my head over and over again, causing me to grip the letter even harder this time. (The "single drop" or "bead of sweat" is a cliche in stories. Try some even deeper imagery, can you describe that stale ache behind your eyes just before you cry? Try use descriptions that no other student will. You want to stand out!)The once smooth edges of the paper were now filled with small lines which branched out from the corners of the page, creating a delicate pattern that mimicked the handiwork of a patient artist. I sat there tracing them with my thumb, the repetitive movement mesmerising me and numbing the pain I felt; temporarily. The hustle and bustle of the waking city was not enough to distract me from my worries. Screeching car noises and the occasional sound of a siren could not fill the emptiness I felt as I sat on the cold pavement in front of my apartment, watching people begin their day whilst I speculated about the possibility of my non-existent future. (I really like that you haven't gone overboard with imagery. It is very easy for me to see you sitting on the pavement because it isn't too crowded with descriptions of physicality. That's a very good merit to your work. However, I am confused by what the lines on the page are? They sound lovely - but logistically I am confused.)

The swaying movement of a sleek, black briefcase caught my attention as my eyes scanned over a trench coat and finally making their way to put a face to the hurried individual.(This is a small technical thing but you have switched tenses in your verbs. You've gone from "scanned" to "making." These are the small things that may stick out to a marker - easily fixed!" I was taken aback by how pompous he looked; with his head tilted downwards and walking in a sidestepped manner, as if avoiding the possibility of the Manhattan crowd stepping on his shiny Italian shoes. (The Italian part is very nice. A very nice touch).His booming, authoritative voice barked orders through his phone as he caught my stare for a few moments, long enough for me to look into his shallow eyes. Annoyance filled his face as he bumped shoulders with a homeless man, confirming his brash persona as he continued along the street crossing and finally, out of my sight. I found his behaviour intriguing, as I pondered upon how someone who seemingly had everything could behave in such a manner. If you want to talk about him having it all I'd throw some little extra things in there. Instead of "shiny italian shoes" I'd go for "rich italian shoes," and possibly add something about the phone he has or a big brass watch. Just because, at the moment what is standing out to me more is his brash persona than his wealth. So when you say to me that he seemingly had everything, I had to think "oh does he??" So it is just a small change and youll be fixed right up here.)

It was then that I decided to take a walk through the city, eager to forget about the letter and the strange businessman. I soon found myself in Central park and sat down on a park bench.  In front of me sat a man in his late fifties, wearing tattered clothes and a beanie. His hands were folded in front of him, his nails caked in dirt. The nails are a really nice touch!My eyes slowly made their way to his face and what I saw left me dumbfounded. His eyes were sunken and his cheeks hollowed, yet the big smile he gave me reached his eyes, revealing two rows of yellowed teeth. He was the homeless man that bumped into the business man.

 I gave him a timid smile, embarrassed that he caught me staring. My mind began to wander off again when his raspy voice addressed me: “Hello, would you mind if I sat next to you?” I shuffled over to the end of the bench, creating a greater space between us than needed. “I promise I don’t bite” he chuckled. (You've got to use the correct speech conventions for a story. I know it is easy to want to embed them but you will need to make sure that when a new person speaks, it sits on a new line with an indent.)His chuckle slowly developed into an eruptive laughter, only to be cut short by a series of hoarse coughs. “I wasn’t always like this.” He confessed. Puzzled, I turned towards him. “A little over a year ago, I was managing the top financial firm in New York City.” He paused, placing a hand over his chest and began to take deep breaths, wincing with every breath. (Again, start the "Are you Okay?" on the next line. :)"“Are you ok?” I asked as he closed his eyes. He spoke slower this time. “I had a stable job and a some-what loving family until I was diagnosed with lung cancer. My wife and son managed to undermine me while I was at my weakest and took over the company.” I was slightly dazed, not knowing how to react with the information he was voluntarily giving me.(I have an idea for the sentence I just read. Instead of "voluntarily giving me" how about "uninvited/unexpected but very welcome words." Because it never crossed my mind that what he said wasn't voluntary. You don't need to say that." “People often ask how I manage to keep a smile on my face. I bet you’re wondering the same thing too.” I nodded, curious to know how anyone could come out of such an adverse situation with a smile. “Your career isn’t everything; at the end of the day, we carry nothing with us to the grave. All that money I used to have, bought me nothing but temporary happiness. Even with everything in the world, I felt like I had nothing. I now know that and live every day to help others because that’s the true meaning of life.” he said as he stared off into the distant city skyline, eyes filled sorrow and regret. He turned back to me and gestured toward my coat pocket. “I know that look on your face and I’m here to tell you that a rejection letter does not determine your personal worth. Choose to find true happiness” he said with a sympathetic look in his eyes and slowly got up, giving me a slight wave before filling the silence with the shuffling of his feet.

That night, I was at war with sleep; tossing and turning until I felt like a defeated wrestler. Pillows were sprawled everywhere, the once comforting sheets now tangled between my legs; holding me down. I shifted my weight to my hip, slowly sitting up amongst the mess that covered my bed. I inched closer to the window and began to escape into a reverie as I watched the busy streets of New York City.  (This here is a very nice paragraph. I loved every part of it!!!)

Watching the ant like movement of people made me think about the strangeness of it all; how everyone in this city manages to live separate lives, in a ‘bubble’ if you will. Every individual walking past another, not glancing once to think about the person next to them yet both somehow managing to fit into this microcosm of the greater world to find the true meaning of life.  It’s an interesting phenomenon, really. Because now I know: your personal worth is not determined by your qualifications, or how much money you make, but rather how you find your true happiness and share it with others.

End Notes:


Okay, so, I LOVE THIS!!!
What do I love about it?
-Do you follow Humans of New York on facebook or instagram? To me, I imagined it to be very much like the photos from Central Park. I love that.
-You don't struggle with words. In these early stages many people find that the more verbose their language is the better their story should be received. But that isn't the case at all. Right from the beginning I could see your delicate frankness of language which was truly admirable.
-The discovery element: It is there physically when he receives the letter. It is there spiritually when he changes his mind set. It is their emotionally. It is transformative of his perspective. Plus more! It ticks a lot of discovery options.

How to improve?
I've added some things throughout your story, just little tweaking things. But I also think you have the opportunity to enhance the story in terms of its plot, making it a little more complicated. You are in a position to do this because your language is just right at the moment, so you can look at improving it elsewhere. I can't tell you exactly how to do it because it is your story but I can propose a few things. I need to know a little more about this trench coat character. Maybe the homeless man knows about him? Does he know his stocks are about to fall or does he know that he made his way through fraud? It's just an idea and it is totally up to you what you want to add in because the story is great right now. But few students are at a stage this early in the year where they can play with plot, so if you think you are too, work with it. But there is nothing structurally wrong with your work right now. You've done an awesome job I'm very impressed!

Post back any time with any questions :)
Not sure how to navigate around ATAR Notes? Check out this video!

lowrifunnell

  • Adventurer
  • *
  • Posts: 9
  • School: Brigidine College Randwick
  • School Grad Year: 2016
Re: Free AOS Creative Writing Marking!
« Reply #25 on: March 03, 2016, 08:35:20 pm »
hi! I don't really have any particular concerns for my narrative apart from all of it :) thanks so much for doing this!!

elysepopplewell

  • HSC Lecturer
  • Honorary Moderator
  • ATAR Notes Legend
  • *******
  • Posts: 3236
  • "Hey little fighter, soon it will be brighter."
Re: Free AOS Creative Writing Marking!
« Reply #26 on: March 04, 2016, 05:12:30 pm »
hi! I don't really have any particular concerns for my narrative apart from all of it :) thanks so much for doing this!!

Hey! It is my pleasure to do this :)
Here is your original, unedited creative:
Spoiler
The wind whipped my hair around my face as the car door slammed behind me. The air was thick with moisture. A storm was brewing.
As I entered the house and threw my keys on the counter, the first drops of rain were beginning to fling themselves at the frosted window panes. By the time I sank into a chair, it was pelting down with rain, droplets of water plummeting to their demise. Just like my career. When I graduated from Oxford at the top of my class, my career in astrophysics, specialising in the fabric of space-time, had looked promising. Now, 10 years later, my research job is slowly, yet surely, becoming my biggest failure yet. And that includes wearing socks with sandals.
No matter which calculations I tried, which formula I used, I always ended up with the same answer. The wrong answer. There must be some significance to it, I just can't figure it out. Maybe I never will. Maybe they were right, maybe I'll never be smart enough for this. The rain and wind was battering my window, threatening to smash it into shards. Stacks of notes were piled high, looming, teetering over me, each page threatening to spill from its pile and slice through the air in a storm of white and ink. Each page bearing the number 2.13765. It was inescapable. The rain outside intensified, lightning split the sky as if it were nothing but paper, illuminating the room and pulling my gaze towards my shelves, where a simple box was hiding behind papers and books. I yanked the box from its dust ridden place, resolving to focus on something else. Anything to take my mind off my failing experiments and theories.
The box had always fascinated me, I’d found it in the attic, and no one seemed to remember where it had come from. It was tall and wooden, with eight ornate, intricately carved sides. On the lid of the box was what looked like a combination lock. I’d tried every combination I could think of, every birthday, every significant date. So far nothing had worked. When I tipped the box on its side I could hear its contents slide around inside. I’d always wondered what could be inside.
I wonder…
I didn’t know why it would work, that wouldn’t make any sense, but I supposed that there was no harm in trying. I twisted the lock to face the two, then the one, three, seven, and six. Taking a final, deep breath, I clicked the lock over to the five. There was a small hiss as the lock slides out of place. The storm outside had calmed, but thunder rolled over faraway hills, as if in retreat, not nearly as loud as the blood roaring in my ears, racing through my veins, pulsing through my body like electricity.
The next day I raced into work, found an empty lab and locked myself in. Only then did I pull the box out of my bag and set it on the desk in amidst my failed experiments and calculations. I didn’t know what I might find, only that it would be instrumental in my life. The box stared up at me unassumingly, unaware of the impact it was about to make on my life, on everyone’s lives. Unable to wait any longer, I squeezed my eyes shut and prised off the lid. The contents appeared to be those of a time capsule, a handful of cinema ticket stubs, a CD of a band I’d never heard of, a photo of a family, clearer than anything I’d seen before, and a newspaper article. A newspaper article titled ‘Only Time Will Tell’, and dated December 6th, 2016. It didn’t make any sense, that was twenty years in the future. Skimming over the article, I thought it must be a practical joke, played by one of my more insensitive colleagues. The article was about time travel. There weren’t many details, but it looked like someone had finally done it, they had invented time travel. I was just about to storm out of my lab and command the rest of the scientists to explain themselves, when I saw one more item at the bottom of the box, tucked into a gap in the wooden corner. It was a tiny piece of ripped paper with a short sentence on it. a short sentence in my own handwriting.
‘You can do it, I promise’

Here is your creative with my thoughts:
Spoiler
The wind whipped my hair around my face as the car door slammed behind me. The air was thick with moisture. A storm was brewing. I like how you've used a longer sentence and then two short ones. Already you're showing great sentence variation.
As I entered the house and threw my keys on the counter, the first drops of rain were beginning to fling themselves at the frosted window panes. By the time I sank into a chair, it was pelting down with rain, droplets of water plummeting to their demise. Just like my career. When I graduated from Oxford at the top of my class, my career in astrophysics, specialising in the fabric of space-time, had looked promising. Now, 10 years later, my research job is slowly, yet surely, (Slowly yet surely is a cliche. Try avoid this. The reason being, your reader reads the beginning and they think they know what finishes it, and when you change it to be something else you draw in the reader's attention again. Even if you change "surely" for "undoubtedly" it will still have this effect!) becoming my biggest failure yet. And that includes wearing socks with sandals. I love this bit of humour. However, there are people who actually do this and see nothing wrong with it *cringe*. Socks with thongs is where its at.

No matter which calculations I tried, which formula I used, I always ended up with the same answer. The wrong answer. There must be some significance to it, I just can't figure it out. Maybe I never will. Maybe they were right, maybe I'll never be smart enough for this. The rain and wind was battering my window, threatening to smash it into shards. Stacks of notes were piled high, looming, teetering over me, each page threatening to spill from its pile and slice through the air in a storm of white and ink. Each page bearing the number 2.13765. It was inescapable. The rain outside intensified, lightning split the sky as if it were nothing but paper, illuminating the room and pulling my gaze towards my shelves, where a simple box was hiding behind papers and books. I yanked the box from its dust ridden place, resolving to focus on something else. Anything to take my mind off my failing experiments and theories.
The box had always fascinated me, I’d found it in the attic, and no one seemed to remember where it had come from. It was tall and wooden, with eight ornate, intricately carved sides. On the lid of the box was what looked like a combination lock. I’d tried every combination I could think of, every birthday, every significant date. So far nothing had worked. When I tipped the box on its side I could hear its contents slide around inside. I’d always wondered what could be inside.
I wonder…
I didn’t know why it would work, that wouldn’t make any sense, but I supposed that there was no harm in trying. I twisted the lock to face the two, then the one, three, seven, and six. Taking a final, deep breath, I clicked the lock over to the five. There was a small hiss as the lock slides out of place. The storm outside had calmed, but thunder rolled over faraway hills, as if in retreat, not nearly as loud as the blood roaring in my ears, racing through my veins, pulsing through my body like electricity.
The next day I raced into work, found an empty lab and locked myself in. Only then did I pull the box out of my bag and set it on the desk in amidst my failed experiments and calculations. I didn’t know what I might find, only that it would be instrumental in my life. The box stared up at me unassumingly, unaware of the impact it was about to make on my life, on everyone’s lives. Unable to wait any longer, I squeezed my eyes shut and prised off the lid. The contents appeared to be those of a time capsule, a handful of cinema ticket stubs, a CD of a band I’d never heard of, a photo of a family, clearer than anything I’d seen before, and a newspaper article. A newspaper article titled ‘Only Time Will Tell’, and dated December 6th, 2016. It didn’t make any sense, that was twenty years in the future. Skimming over the article, I thought it must be a practical joke, played by one of my more insensitive colleagues. The article was about time travel. There weren’t many details, but it looked like someone had finally done it, they had invented time travel. I was just about to storm out of my lab and command the rest of the scientists to explain themselves, when I saw one more item at the bottom of the box, tucked into a gap in the wooden corner. It was a tiny piece of ripped paper with a short sentence on it. a short sentence in my own handwriting.
‘You can do it, I promise’

OMG WOW.

The end bit is great. I didn't see it coming! So that is definitely a good sign.

The next step for you is to improve the persona's voice. There was that touch of humour in there which was great (socks and sandals) but I want to see a little bit more of it. This isn't because I want your piece to be funny, but because I want your character to be more than just sorry for themself. To me, the person seems bland, tired, depressed, boring. When in fact, I want them to be passionate but defeated, humorous but fatigued, on the verge of giving up, but not quite yet. Adding to the persona's personality and mannerisms will create interest in the story where it lulls. I mean, aside from the introduction and the getting into the box, it is a lull. This is the time for you to create the persona to be tangible.

Let's talk about discovery:
The reader makes a discovery, but so does the persona. The discovery is made at the same point for both, so that's great because it enhances the reader's understanding of what the persona feels.

A few things that I want to comment on that I'm a bit confused about, so perhaps you can take this on board. If you want to leave some of these as enigmas, that's totally fine. If you want to change it up to answer the questions, you can do that too.

1. The number on the page, the 2.#####. I guessed that this number is a result that he keeps coming up with even though it is incorrect? Is it a sign from the universe that it is actually the box's lock?
2. Is he in a shared laboratory? Because I see him in complete isolation, but then he wants to speak to the other scientists for a moment there?
3. Adding to the environment, there's an attic? This is what made me picture the persona being at home. Then the scientists came into it?

In all, this is a great piece. You should be very proud. Don't hesitate to add more to it or change things and post back. You have set yourself up for success in this creative.

You should get your hands on as many possible questions and stimuli as possible. This includes 2015 HSC exam, 2015 trials and 2015 half yearly exams. Apply your creative to this so that you can see just how it ticks the discovery boxes. If you find there is a question that you simply cannot adapt to: don't ignore it. You're ahead of a lot of people in that you have a great story already, so use this advantage to have a look at adapting the creative :)
Not sure how to navigate around ATAR Notes? Check out this video!

elysepopplewell

  • HSC Lecturer
  • Honorary Moderator
  • ATAR Notes Legend
  • *******
  • Posts: 3236
  • "Hey little fighter, soon it will be brighter."
Re: Free AOS Creative Writing Marking!
« Reply #27 on: March 07, 2016, 04:50:29 pm »
Hi Elyse!

It would be such a privilege if you could give me your advice on this creative I wrote! Just wanted to know whether this was band 6 material and if you could point out any errors and give me advice on how to heighten it! Thank you so so much for you help I am so glad that I can send this to you, and I am forever greatful :)

Hey there! Here is your original, unedited creative:
Spoiler
With Knowledge comes power.
Oppenheimer was unaware that his brilliance would unleash a monstrous mammoth upon mankind: the first atomic bomb, 1965.
“We have made a thing, a most terrible weapon that has altered the nature of the world”
The rest was history.
She had read somewhere that the cure for cancer was being suppressed between the calloused palms of business firms and medical institutions. Little did she know the implication of leaking this wealth of Knowledge onto society’s deprived soul.                  She calls it justice.
You and I would call it corruption.
***
Dr Samitha bathed her profuse charcoal hair unctuously with lavender Amla oil. Her sunken eyes weathered from years of reading, revising, and rendering, framed delicately with her chipped glasses which danced on the crook of her nose.
She hoisted the scissors against her hairline, which burnt cold against her tender dark skin, hungry for the charcoal. It was like an anesthetic to her pitiful domestic existence; the hammer that could shatter the glass ceiling.

She thought against it.

Soon all her hard work, in the domain of gender constructs would be acknowledged.

Hair tightly held back and teeth clenched, Dr Samitha staggered within the familiar suffocating magnolia walls brushed with undertones of bleach. She scavenged through myriads of medical chronicles and hunched methodically over the lab table.

Three years ago the clocks struck thirteen, and she was devoid of her loving Amma whom so willingly brushed her thick hair and kissed her cheek with adoration.
 “Just make sure you own your career, don’t let it own you like so many people…” Those final whispers in the air cradled her ear – when her dear Amma was stolen by death himself, succumbing to leukemia.

1080 days of dedication.

She held the test tube against the fluorescent bursts for clarity and squinted at the immune system culture of T cell components – years of trial, error and perfection. With a generous drop from a micropipette, she peeked hesitantly into the lens of the electron microscope plated with diaphanous silver. Dr Samitha used her paraphernalia to genetically engineer a CD19 receptor onto the T & B cells amongst the tumorous cells.

The calm before the storm:  deep palpitations throbbed against her ear drums. Hot air smothered against her throat, rivulets of sweat adhered to skin. The smell of bleach tickled her nostrils.

The T-cells crowded the cancerous cells like a flock of birds surrounding a meaty prey.

Dr Samitha gripped the table until her pale fingers barren of colour were nostalgic for sensation. She pecked the test tube and elevated the translucent solution against the stark light in awe, a tearful blurry view.

They would never understand her sacrifice.

Her eyes hesitantly lingered over the AAAS card to inform this scientific breakthrough that would pave history. She would be sitting in the hall of fame beside Francis Crick and James Watson.

So why was she holding back?

***
The East Wind mockingly whistled over the jungle bursting with buildings. The stagnant traffic accompanies incessant honking and yelping. An exponential population upsurge was experienced 50 years since the unearthing of the cure to cancer.
The Actuary’s job is non-existent – that rich business man’s job is thriving.
The citizens faces permeate gloom and not joy; misery and not happiness.
A social class was effortlessly re-established – the rich, rich enough to devour in such remedies and the poor, poor enough to suffer in such atrocities.
A window into what was hoped to be utopia was replaced with dystopia.

***
She wept.
So why was she holding back?

Her grip on the test tube tensed.
She could pay off her hefty university fees; compensate those years of slavery as a victim to the heinous act of cancer; shower in fame and shed the limelight on gender inequality.

Her grip on the test tube constricted furthermore and the smell of bleach heightened. 
They will never understand her sacrifice.
“We have made a thing, a most terrible weapon that has altered the nature of the world”
The test tube fractured under pressure, lacerating Dr Samitha, caking her hand in a rich maroon tapestry.
With Knowledge comes power – a power too rich in magnitude to tame.

Here is your creative with some of my own comments, they will be written in bold :)
Spoiler
With Knowledge comes power.
Oppenheimer was unaware that his brilliance would unleash a monstrous mammoth upon mankind: the first atomic bomb, 1965. You could be saying this because it is an imaginative piece and not factual, but the first Atomic Bomb blast was on July 16 in 1945. This might stick out to a marker as being something to throw them early on, particularly if they are a history teacher as well.
“We have made a thing, a most terrible weapon that has altered the nature of the world”
The rest was history.
She had read somewhere that the cure for cancer was being suppressed between the calloused palms of business firms and medical institutions. I'm dying over this sentence. "Calloused palms of business firms" WOW WOW WOW! Little did she know the implication of leaking this wealth of Knowledge onto society’s deprived soul.                  She calls it justice.
You and I would call it corruption. I love that I'm pulled in here. "You and I"
***
Dr Samitha bathed her profuse charcoal hair unctuously with lavender Amla oil. Her sunken eyes, weathered from years of reading, revising, and rendering, were framed delicately with her chipped glasses which that danced on the crook of her nose.
She hoisted the scissors against her hairline, which burnt cold against her tender dark skin, hungry for the charcoal.I'm just a bit confused here regarding what exactly is "hungry for the charcoal." It was like an anesthetic to her pitiful domestic existence; the hammer that could shatter the glass ceiling.

She thought against it.

Soon all her hard work, in the domain of gender constructs would be acknowledged.

Hair tightly held back and teeth clenched, Dr Samitha staggered within the familiar suffocating magnolia walls brushed with undertones of bleach. She scavenged through myriads of medical chronicles and hunched methodically over the lab table.

Three years ago the clocks struck thirteen, and she was devoid of her loving Amma whom so willingly brushed her thick hair and kissed her cheek with adoration.
 “Just make sure you own your career, don’t let it own you like so many people…” Those final whispers in the air cradled her ear – when her dear Amma was stolen by death himself, succumbing to leukemia.

1080 days of dedication.

She held the test tube against the fluorescent bursts for clarity and squinted at the immune system culture of T cell components – years of trial, error and perfection. With a generous drop from a micropipette, she peeked hesitantly into the lens of the electron microscope plated with diaphanous silver. Dr Samitha used her paraphernalia to genetically engineer a CD19 receptor onto the T & B cells amongst the tumorous cells.

The calm before the storm:  deep palpitations throbbed against her ear drums. Hot air smothered against her throat, rivulets of sweat adhered to skin. The smell of bleach tickled her nostrils.

The T-cells crowded the cancerous cells like a flock of birds surrounding a meaty prey.

Dr Samitha gripped the table until her pale fingers barren of colour were nostalgic for sensation. She pecked the test tube and elevated the translucent solution against the stark light in awe, a tearful blurry view.

They would never understand her sacrifice.

Her eyes hesitantly lingered over the AAAS card to inform this scientific breakthrough that would pave history. She would be sitting in the hall of fame beside Francis Crick and James Watson.

So why was she holding back?

***
The East Wind mockingly whistled over the jungle bursting with buildings. The stagnant traffic accompanies incessant honking and yelping. An exponential population upsurge was experienced 50 years since the unearthing of the cure to cancer.
The Actuary’s job is non-existent – that rich business man’s job is thriving.
The citizens faces permeate gloom and not joy; misery and not happiness.
A social class was effortlessly re-established – the rich, rich enough to devour in such remedies and the poor, poor enough to suffer in such atrocities.
A window into what was hoped to be utopia was replaced with dystopia.

***
She wept.
So why was she holding back?

Her grip on the test tube tensed.
She could pay off her hefty university fees; compensate those years of slavery as a victim to the heinous act of cancer; shower in fame and shed the limelight on gender inequality.

Her grip on the test tube constricted furthermore and the smell of bleach heightened. 
They will never understand her sacrifice.
“We have made a thing, a most terrible weapon that has altered the nature of the world”
The test tube fractured under pressure, lacerating Dr Samitha, caking her hand in a rich maroon tapestry.
With Knowledge comes power – a power too rich in magnitude to tame.

I didn't comment on the second half of the text because in terms of language, there are no ugly flaws. So that's good, because it meant that I could enjoy the flow of the story, which I did.

However, I think there need to be a few linking adjustments made to better the flow and the overall effect. I liked the road you seemed to go down regarding the gender inequality because it shone a deeper light on the cancer story than just the idea that it is locked away financially. But, I didn't see a strong flow of that throughout. I only seemed to see her resentment for the system and the potential pride that she would feel if she did expose her findings. I was waiting, but it didn't seem to eventuate? Which can work in your favour, of course. Except, it was clouded by the husband's cancerous death and the debt she has to him. In the end, I was confused about what her motives were and what had eventuated. I couldn't be certain of the link being made to the A-bomb. I'm assuming that you wanted to compare her situation to the gravity of the bomb? But then I'm left wondering why the bomb is released later than 1945. Haha!

Now, don't be disheartened! These little things can be tidied up very easily. I've told you where I think there are broken links, and now you need to work out where you can mend them. I hope this makes sense to you! Your writing is spot on. I was loving your intro. I loved the rest throughout as well. Your story definitely is band 6 material, you just need to fix the links and then re-view the cohesiveness of the language to confirm your place! Don't be afraid to post back if you make any edits. Hopefully this makes sense! Please ask for clarification if I haven't been clear. :)
Not sure how to navigate around ATAR Notes? Check out this video!

Reece7Burton

  • Fresh Poster
  • *
  • Posts: 2
  • School: Armidale High School
  • School Grad Year: 2016
Re: Free AOS Creative Writing Marking!
« Reply #28 on: March 11, 2016, 12:56:10 pm »
Hi I was wondering if you could mark my creative story I had to put the sentence: The View is endlessly fulfilling. It is like the answer to a lifetime of questions and vague cravings. And the story had to be focused on a moment of discovery. Thanks

A mirroring image

The world was still, almost silent, except for the continuous chimes from a clock-tower far above and the dull thud of his heartbeat as he rested his against the sturdy alabaster wall and assessed the view before his wary, untrusting eyes. A white marble staircase is laid out a few metres from his resting place and spirals upwards in elegant, vertical rings before disappearing somewhere into the mist far above his head. Beyond this, the ivory wall that he leans on extends on either side of him, for what seems like a mile, surrounding the area like a prison and ensuring the only path to take was the one laid out directly before him.

When the world was different and things made sense, he’d had a deadly, almost paralysing fear of heights. he didn’t have that option anymore. There was nowhere else to go. Though he’d been fighting the instinct from the moment he opened his eyes, something deep inside him was telling that he should push through the fear as if it was the last thing he’d ever do. Climb. A sense that if he were to do that, life might make sense again. Although perception of reality seeped in, he decided for the first time in a very long time to listen to his instinct and trust himself.

Taking a deep breath to calm his aching nerves he pushes away from the wall and takes a tentative step onto the marble staircase, gripping the marble banister that runs alongside it trembling hands. Instantly he is bewildered by a memory.

The memory.

Grasping the banister tightly, he heaves his eyes to a close in an attempt to stop the image from materialising right before him. Suddenly he’s back there. Back to where it all began. A vapid white room appears before him. No life apart from the narrow pathway to the limp threads of fabric hanging from the bed with a cracked side table near and the smell of guilt overpowering him as he draws closer, a realisation of the pale, boned body, amid a mess of sheets. Shaking his head, he snorts his nose and wipes his cheeks. “It’s been so long since I’ve been in the hospital…”Drawing closer to the bed, the ashen form that rests upon it, a flicker of recognition passes. This fades when another figure materialises before him eyes, seeming not to see him as he approaches the figure on the thread. A wave of panic suddenly overwhelms him, though the realisation hasn’t been met. The shrouded ghost looks down on the boy at the bed through dull, cold eyes and leans down to say something, his lips right by the boys ear…And it’s as if a thread had been cut. A cry in protest arises from him as he is sent back to his body with the realisation.

The two figures were a mirroring image.

Clear as if he was still lying on the bed in that cold, lifeless room, the words echo in his head over and over, “Time’s up.” By the time he opens his eyes still clenching against the barrister, as if he would shatter into a million pieces if she didn’t have it there for support, the image remains in the eyes of his foreseen future. He remembers: a dark day, winter, snow crystals forming beyond the window frame. Silence. His mouth moving but the words received weren’t as concerning as the sad smile that followed. After the life had escaped his body.

Staring up the staircase, at the piercing light emitting at the top, he wonders what he will find there. Peace, perhaps? Sighing at the thought, he takes another step up the staircase, then another. Each step providing a light so strong that no other light can compare, well not since the sickness had found him. Like every journey, he takes his time reaching the top but when the foot touches flat ground instead of yet another dreaded step, a face enthralled with shock appears following the journey’s end. A deep breath is taken, following a trembling body feeling more conflicted then ever. Before him lies an intimidating marble wall, running straight as far as the eye can see. Stepping forwards he notices the clock-tower in the distance, still chiming, but somehow quieter than before. At the centre of the wall a gate is formed, illuminating a glow. sStill at a distance he watches as the glow weakens as if his loved ones had lost all hope and were forced to provide each other with an unattainable level of comfort. He feels torn. A longing he has been reaching for all this time is right there infant of him. After years and years of stumbling around in a memoryless haze. “Can I do it?”

A question only serving to illuminate all all of his past fears, insecurities and the hopelessness that his illness provided. As he turns on his heel, intent on declining back down before more bad memories could trouble a voice rings out. “Aren’t you going to take that extra step?” He stumbles back around to see only what was seen before. No figure. No life. As he takes a step closer, a sense of peace overwhelms him from beyond the gateway and tears trickle down the cheeks of a diminished human being as the thought of what he is leaving behind demands too much of him. Stepping closer, he ponders this. Could he really let go. Start again?

The peace he felt before, returns tenfold, and a hesitant smile appears. It’s been years since his death. Years of fear, anxieties and stress. Perhaps it is time. The gate open as if it was willed by god himself to allow him to step inside. The view was endlessly fulfilling. It was the answer to a lifetime of question and vague cravings. Finally he understood. Finally there was freedom.

elysepopplewell

  • HSC Lecturer
  • Honorary Moderator
  • ATAR Notes Legend
  • *******
  • Posts: 3236
  • "Hey little fighter, soon it will be brighter."
Re: Free AOS Creative Writing Marking!
« Reply #29 on: March 12, 2016, 05:56:40 pm »
Hi I was wondering if you could mark my creative story I had to put the sentence: The View is endlessly fulfilling. It is like the answer to a lifetime of questions and vague cravings. And the story had to be focused on a moment of discovery. Thanks

Hey there! I will definitely read your creative.
Here it is, unedited:
Spoiler
A mirroring image

The world was still, almost silent, except for the continuous chimes from a clock-tower far above and the dull thud of his heartbeat as he rested his against the sturdy alabaster wall and assessed the view before his wary, untrusting eyes. A white marble staircase is laid out a few metres from his resting place and spirals upwards in elegant, vertical rings before disappearing somewhere into the mist far above his head. Beyond this, the ivory wall that he leans on extends on either side of him, for what seems like a mile, surrounding the area like a prison and ensuring the only path to take was the one laid out directly before him.

When the world was different and things made sense, he’d had a deadly, almost paralysing fear of heights. he didn’t have that option anymore. There was nowhere else to go. Though he’d been fighting the instinct from the moment he opened his eyes, something deep inside him was telling that he should push through the fear as if it was the last thing he’d ever do. Climb. A sense that if he were to do that, life might make sense again. Although perception of reality seeped in, he decided for the first time in a very long time to listen to his instinct and trust himself.

Taking a deep breath to calm his aching nerves he pushes away from the wall and takes a tentative step onto the marble staircase, gripping the marble banister that runs alongside it trembling hands. Instantly he is bewildered by a memory.

The memory.

Grasping the banister tightly, he heaves his eyes to a close in an attempt to stop the image from materialising right before him. Suddenly he’s back there. Back to where it all began. A vapid white room appears before him. No life apart from the narrow pathway to the limp threads of fabric hanging from the bed with a cracked side table near and the smell of guilt overpowering him as he draws closer, a realisation of the pale, boned body, amid a mess of sheets. Shaking his head, he snorts his nose and wipes his cheeks. “It’s been so long since I’ve been in the hospital…”Drawing closer to the bed, the ashen form that rests upon it, a flicker of recognition passes. This fades when another figure materialises before him eyes, seeming not to see him as he approaches the figure on the thread. A wave of panic suddenly overwhelms him, though the realisation hasn’t been met. The shrouded ghost looks down on the boy at the bed through dull, cold eyes and leans down to say something, his lips right by the boys ear…And it’s as if a thread had been cut. A cry in protest arises from him as he is sent back to his body with the realisation.

The two figures were a mirroring image.

Clear as if he was still lying on the bed in that cold, lifeless room, the words echo in his head over and over, “Time’s up.” By the time he opens his eyes still clenching against the barrister, as if he would shatter into a million pieces if she didn’t have it there for support, the image remains in the eyes of his foreseen future. He remembers: a dark day, winter, snow crystals forming beyond the window frame. Silence. His mouth moving but the words received weren’t as concerning as the sad smile that followed. After the life had escaped his body.

Staring up the staircase, at the piercing light emitting at the top, he wonders what he will find there. Peace, perhaps? Sighing at the thought, he takes another step up the staircase, then another. Each step providing a light so strong that no other light can compare, well not since the sickness had found him. Like every journey, he takes his time reaching the top but when the foot touches flat ground instead of yet another dreaded step, a face enthralled with shock appears following the journey’s end. A deep breath is taken, following a trembling body feeling more conflicted then ever. Before him lies an intimidating marble wall, running straight as far as the eye can see. Stepping forwards he notices the clock-tower in the distance, still chiming, but somehow quieter than before. At the centre of the wall a gate is formed, illuminating a glow. sStill at a distance he watches as the glow weakens as if his loved ones had lost all hope and were forced to provide each other with an unattainable level of comfort. He feels torn. A longing he has been reaching for all this time is right there infant of him. After years and years of stumbling around in a memoryless haze. “Can I do it?”

A question only serving to illuminate all all of his past fears, insecurities and the hopelessness that his illness provided. As he turns on his heel, intent on declining back down before more bad memories could trouble a voice rings out. “Aren’t you going to take that extra step?” He stumbles back around to see only what was seen before. No figure. No life. As he takes a step closer, a sense of peace overwhelms him from beyond the gateway and tears trickle down the cheeks of a diminished human being as the thought of what he is leaving behind demands too much of him. Stepping closer, he ponders this. Could he really let go. Start again?

The peace he felt before, returns tenfold, and a hesitant smile appears. It’s been years since his death. Years of fear, anxieties and stress. Perhaps it is time. The gate open as if it was willed by god himself to allow him to step inside. The view was endlessly fulfilling. It was the answer to a lifetime of question and vague cravings. Finally he understood. Finally there was freedom

Here it is, edited with my own thoughts in bold:
Spoiler
A mirroring image

The world was still, almost silent, except for the continuous chimes from a clock-tower far above and the dull thud of his heartbeat as he rested his against the sturdy alabaster wall and assessed the view before his wary, untrusting eyes. This is a long sentence. Typically, this isn't an enormous problem. Except, this will be presented in written form, so this will actually be likely to take up about 5 lines for one sentence - this is exhausting for a marker. The imagery sits in a more stark way when it is isolated.A white marble staircase is laid out a few metres from his resting place and spirals upwards in elegant, vertical rings before disappearing somewhere into the mist far above his head. Beyond this, the ivory wall that he leans on extends on either side of him, for what seems like a mile, surrounding the area like a prison and ensuring the only path to take was the one laid out directly before him.

When the world was different and things made sense, he’d had a deadly, almost paralysing fear of heights. he didn’t have that option anymore. There was nowhere else to go. Though he’d been fighting the instinct from the moment he opened his eyes, something deep inside him was telling that he should push through the fear as if it was the last thing he’d ever do. Climb. A sense that if he were to do that, life might make sense again. Although perception of reality seeped in, he decided for the first time in a very long time to listen to his instinct and trust himself.

Taking a deep breath to calm his aching nerves he pushes away from the wall and takes a tentative step onto the marble staircase, gripping the marble banister that runs alongside it trembling hands. Instantly he is bewildered by a memory.

The memory.

Grasping the banister tightly, he heaves his eyes to a close in an attempt to stop the image from materialising right before him. Suddenly he’s back there. Back to where it all began. A vapid white room appears before him. No life apart from the narrow pathway to the limp threads of fabric hanging from the bed with a cracked side table near and the smell of guilt overpowering him as he draws closer, a realisation of the pale, boned body, amid a mess of sheets. Shaking his head, he snorts his nose and wipes his cheeks. This sentence is nice because it is far shorter than your others, so the imagery stays with me.
Speech needs to be on a new line.“It’s been so long since I’ve been in the hospital…” Drawing closer to the bed, the ashen form that rests upon it, a flicker of recognition passes. This fades when another figure materialises before him his eyes, seeming not to see him as he approaches the figure on the thread. A wave of panic suddenly overwhelms him, though the realisation hasn’t been met. The shrouded ghost looks down on the boy at the bed through dull, cold eyes and leans down to say something, his lips right by the boys ear…And it’s as if a thread had been cut. A cry in protest arises from him as he is sent back to his body with the realisation.

The two figures were a mirroring image.

Clear as if he was still lying on the bed in that cold, lifeless room, the words echo in his head over and over, “Time’s up.” By the time he opens his eyes still clenching against the barrister, banister? as if he would shatter into a million pieces if she didn’t have it there for support, the image remains in the eyes of his foreseen future. He remembers: a dark day, winter, snow crystals forming beyond the window frame. Silence. His mouth moving but the words received weren’t as concerning as the sad smile that followed. After the life had escaped his body.

Staring up the staircase, at the piercing light emitting at the top, he wonders what he will find there. Peace, perhaps? Sighing at the thought, he takes another step up the staircase, then another. Each step providing a light so strong that no other light can compare, well not since the sickness had found him. Like every journey, he takes his time reaching the top but when the foot touches flat ground instead of yet another dreaded step, a face enthralled with shock appears following the journey’s end. A deep breath is taken, following a trembling body feeling more conflicted then ever. Before him lies an intimidating marble wall, running straight as far as the eye can see. Stepping forwards he notices the clock-tower in the distance, still chiming, but somehow quieter than before. At the centre of the wall a gate is formed, illuminating a glow. sStill at a distance he watches as the glow weakens as if his loved ones had lost all hope and were forced to provide each other with an unattainable level of comfort. He feels torn. A longing he has been reaching for all this time is right there infant of him. After years and years of stumbling around in a memoryless haze. “Can I do it?”

A question only serving to illuminate all all of his past fears, insecurities and the hopelessness that his illness provided. As he turns on his heel, intent on declining back down before more bad memories could trouble a voice rings out. “Aren’t you going to take that extra step?” He stumbles back around to see only what was seen before. No figure. No life. As he takes a step closer, a sense of peace overwhelms him from beyond the gateway and tears trickle down the cheeks of a diminished human being as the thought of what he is leaving behind demands too much of him. Stepping closer, he ponders this. Could he really let go. Start again?

The peace he felt before, returns tenfold, and a hesitant smile appears. It’s been years since his death. Years of fear, anxieties and stress. Perhaps it is time. The gate open as if it was willed by god himself to allow him to step inside. The view was endlessly fulfilling. It was the answer to a lifetime of question and vague cravings. Finally he understood. Finally there was freedom

I really enjoy this story. The discovery is clear and it's removed enough from banal reality that it is interested, without being too far fetched. The discovery part of this doesn't need a lot of work.
To improve your work, you should work on your sentence structure and variation. You use a lot of long sentences. Any sentence that is 35 words or more, I suggest you look at to try and cut down. It isn't because a sentence shouldn't be that long, it is just because you have so much imagery in each one that it is loaded and can't be taken in completely. You've evidently got an imaginary world clearly visualised...it just needs to be conveyed with greater clarity. Perhaps you've read the writing of authors who write like this. The difference is, you are unfortunately writing for a marker who may have read 50 other creatives that day, and this may be the last. Every bit of clear, effective imagery should be well expressed in order to grab the attention of the marker and set yourself aside from the rest!
Not sure how to navigate around ATAR Notes? Check out this video!