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The Sacred Cup
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The Sacred Cup
A short story set in a magical world the story revolves around our young hero Lippin. I wont tell you anymore because it will spoil the story.
I am 15 yrs. of age please give me feed back because its for my GCSE's.
[5,513 words]
Francis James Chudley
Hi my names Francis Chudley I am 15 years old and this is one of my pastimes. My favourite book is Lord of the Rings. I live in england and i'm doin my GCSE's at the moment so could I have some feedback.
[September 2002]
[email protected]
Casualty (Poetry) This is a poem about one of my accidents whilst biking. Enjoy. [222 words]
The Day I Was Destined To Fly (Short Stories) This is the story which goes with the poem Casualty. It is an account of when I had a little biking accident. [1,185 words]

"Hello again, Francis. First off, this isn't some paltry "This is the best (or worst) story ever!" review, where someone says a few words and his done with it. This is an actual critique, so if you only want to hear glowing things about your work, then read no further than this, and just know that someone actually took the time to read it. Second, if you do read this review, which you in fact begged for, then no that I don't know you, so this should not be taken as some personal insult, should you for whatever reason regard it to be; this review reflects solely upon the capacity of the writer and the written work. Third, no complaining about this review. I’m doing it as a free service so I don’t want to hear any whining, such as “I’m the best writer ever! How dare you point out my flaws and make suggestions for improvement! I only wanted you to look so you could tell me how great I am! I don’t require any actual help! Who are “YOU” to be telling “ME” what to do?” I’m not saying you will do that, but I am saying I’ve heard it before from those newly acquainted with writing literature, whether it be a twelve-year-old boy in Nevada, or an eighty-year-old grandmother who has just picked up the pen for the first time, and yes I’ve also heard it from a few ole hacks. So just keep your eyes and ears open, and maybe you’ll learn something. Remember, I’m trying to “help” you, so I have the right to be as patronizing as I want to be, and be thankful, because this may be the only review you may ever receive; this being Storymania and all. A step-by-step analysis of your piece as a whole reveals that your title “The Sacred Cup” is an original one and a good title in general. It fits this piece, and reveals just enough. However there may be unintended reference to the Cup of the Eucharist/Holy Grail by some readers who are unaware of the story contained within. That’s the pro and con of this title, but I see no reason to change it. As I said, it is a unique title, which is what you need to separate your story from a host of others, after all you don’t want to have “yet another” “Ghost Ship” or “Fear.” 2. Your name, Francis James Chudley, is good for writing checks and communicating with friends, but for a writer it just doesn’t have the right ring to it. Strictly for when you are writing, I might suggest transposing the “Francis” and “James” in your name, in order to give yourself and your work a stronger English presence. To me, James Francis Chudley, sounds like one of the greatest English writers of all time, whereas, Francis James Chudley, sounds like an eight-year-old boy, with blond curls, rosy cheeks, and a sailor suit. Something to consider, if you intend to pursue literature as an adult. 3. Storymania does you the favor of listing your title at the heading of your story, so there is no need to duplicate it, because we already know it is the “Sacred Cup.” 4. “Lippin” isn’t a name that I personally would have chosen, but hey, it’s your story and that’s up to you. 5. 30m, 20, 10,5, 4, 3, 2………. This is a common mistake among amateur writers. You intended all these periods to be a sort of “trailing off” if you will, but instead you got a literary mess. Even if you were to have used three periods a.k.a. an ellipses it still wouldn’t be correct. An ellipses indicates missing word(s) “… give me liberty or give me death.” What you want is a simple dash “—” to indicate a pause or a break in sentence “the point where the audience holds their collective breath.” 6. What follows is this: Cock-a-doodle-do; Cock-a-doodle-do. Granted, this must go on this next line after the dash “—” but there is no reason to center it, or double space it off from the rest of the text. If you’d like it all by its lonesome on one line that’s one thing, but you don’t have to treat a rooster crowing as royalty, it really isn’t all that important despite the “surprise” you intend with it. Also, I have a personal distaste with writing out noises, i.e.: The cup suddenly hit the floor and went, “Bang, crash, ringa ding dong” or The cow suddenly said, “Moo.” The cow mooed will do just fine. My point is, rather than cockadoodledooing your audience, just “surprise” them with “the rooster crowed” or “his mother called” or hell, “the alarm went off.” 7. Spelling and grammar: Change “cosy” to “cozy,” and don’t give me any “That’s how WE British do it. I don’t care, it’s not right. “Appetising” to “appetizing.” “Realised” to “realized.” Since we’re on common British misspellings, I should also point out that I didn’t see any use of the word “colour,” but that’s the only one I’ll accept because it has a slight differentiation with its sister “color.” “Armour” is an acceptable variation on “armor,” however “honour” instead of “honor” doesn’t even look right, and is one letter l-o-n-g-e-r. ‘Lippin sighed with relief, it was only a bad dream.’ This is a mistake made by even professionals, instead of “relief, it” it needs to be “relief; it.” The reason for the switch between comma to semi-colon is because “Lippin sighed with relief” is a complete thought, worthy of a period no less, and since “it was only a bad dream” is tacked on, hence the semi-colon. “ it's only Raithrin wearing his invisibility boots”. Two problems, one is unnecessary space between opening quotation mark and first word, and two is that it should be capitalized since it begins a new sentence. ‘“Quillin wake up,” said Lippin anxiously as he shaked Quillin.”’ No such word as “shaked;” not even in jolly ole England, so don’t give me that excuse. Change the word to “shook.” “Pyjamas” to “pajamas” or “pjs.” ‘“What do you want then.” Said Raithrin.’ ????Question mark, for a question. ‘“Now get some rest” said Raithrin tiredly.’ A comma is neglected between the end of the quote and the beginning of the exposition. ‘It was a magnificent spear, it had belonged to Lippin’s dad and his dad before that.’ Same problem as with the “Lippin sighed with relief…” sentence, where there is a comma instead of a semi-colon. ‘“ How much further is it” moaned Quillin. “Can’t be far now” Lippin gasped.’ Yet another question without a question mark, followed directly by another quote without any punctuation marks. If the first sentence is intended to be a rhetorical question, instead of a question, then it needs a comma, if you don’t want to use a question mark, and the second quote absolutely needs a comma. ‘“ Alright then, just don’t take long.” agreed Quillin grumpily.’ Some might argue that “Alright” and “grumpily” aren’t real words, but my beef with this sentence is that you placed in it a period where you need a comma. If you’re going to end the sentence with the quote, then you need to begin a new sentence with “agreed” and phrase it differently. It would be much easier to change the period to a comma. . ‘“ Quick Quillin distract it” cried Lippin.’ Unnecessary space, and no comma. ‘Mesmerised’ to ‘mesmerized.’ ‘Well well well’ to ‘Well, well, well.’ ‘“We have to escape, otherwise we’re going to lose our heads Lippins said fearfully.’ Why did his name mysteriously change? ‘“Do you have any last requests” the executioner asked.’ Question mark. ‘5,4,3,2,1……..’ Same mistake as you made with the opening, with these trailing periods. ‘Lippin grabbed Quillins hand…’ Add an apostrophe for poor Quillin’s hand. ‘He led them to this door which…’ Change to ‘door, which’ or ‘door that.’ ‘“There’s three of us though” Lippin laughed.’ Comma. ‘Gobldegoop.’ Perhaps you meant ‘gobbledygook,’ but it’s your fish and you can name it whatever you darn well please. ‘“C’mon Lippin, I went through the very same changes forty years ago and nothing bad happened to Me.” said an old voice from the corner.’ A small word of advice with the capitalization of the word “Me” in the sentence, would be that if you want to stress it, use an underscore, or better yet italics. ‘Travelled’ One “l” not two. “Dwarves” to “Dwarfs’.” ‘They would have to rescue the princess now or it might be to late.’ Simple change of “to” to “to.” ‘Lippin grabbed Hinchpin and shouted “follow me”.’ A few mistakes here: No comma to transition from exposition to quote, end-quote period placed after the end-quotation mark instead of before, and when a character is shouting it is ok to use an exclamation mark, because I’ve never heard “anyone” shout who wasn’t excited about something. ‘“ His eyes are his weakness” the sword whispered.’ Unnecessary space, and absent comma. ‘Hinchpins wail’ The wail belongs to Hinchpin, whether he wants it or not, so use an apostrophe. ‘Ralencias chains’ The chains belong to Ralencia, whether he wants them or not, so use an apostrophe. ‘There was blood all over the floor and the was a large gash in Hinchpin stomach’ Change to “and there was” as well as “Hinchpin’s stomach.” ‘Hinchpin was rolling around on the floor screaming in pain..’ Dual periods? ‘Wolfgar side-stepped’ It’s been a few centuries since it was necessary to place a hyphen in “sidestepped,” anymore than you need to call a “typewriter” a “type-writer.” 8. Suggestions: Bone up on your spelling and grammar, especially the latter, since there is no excuse for things like forgotten commas. It is acceptable in a rough draft, but if you are presenting to an educated audience prepare to have your head taken off by a lot worse than me. Read American works, as well as English ones, and throw in a diet of French, Indian, Albanian, whatever. Basically don’t stick to a strict diet of Tolkien, who I consider to have written for children not adults. Ursula K. LeGuin would for instance be a much better example of a grand mistress writer of adult fantasy fiction. However if you find yourself leaning toward wanting to write for the munchkin-set then you will need formal education in children/young adult’s literature where you may be forced to use a bit more discipline when it comes to the violence and gore of a story. 9. My opinions regarding the work as a whole: It’s nothing I haven’t seen before. No new ground is covered, and many of the themes running throughout have been played to death such as the farm-boy hero, the princess rescue, the singing sword, etc. These themes are quite traditional and flogged to death from the “Black Cauldron” to “Star Wars.” The author still seems unfamiliar with prose, and has not yet come into his own, so to speak, still preferring to emulate other author’s or unable yet to forge his own path. Also, the author is relegated to mostly telling a story, rather than showing it, but it is evident that the author’s ability for storytelling is there since the story is not a recycled one, with merely new names, and does have a cohesive quality throughout. With script-doctoring and/or university experience, I could see this author achieving recognition. " -- JA St.George.
"Yhanks for the review JA St.George I willm make the improvements you said. Iv'e already changed my name." -- James Francis Chudley.
"I agree comploetly with what first reveiwer said, accept for part about being seeeen before. Its nothing Ive seen before, but then I haven't read much. Revew my work Now, ok?" -- Tomcat .
"read your sacred cup. good stuff. Ill be sending along another installment of the Wildwood next week doc" -- david doc byron, vincennes, us, ind.
"Yammeh is teh 0wnage :-)" -- Dark-Strider, DOWN SOUF :-), ENGLAND.
"very good :¬) you obviously hav a flair for writing of this nature and this shines through in this delightful piece!! www.elzzup.me.uk y'all! " -- Yam, NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, TYNE AND WEAR, UK.
"Ehmm..m. Sehr gut Seite! Ich sage innig..!:) bmw" -- BMW, ..., ..., ....


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© 2002 Francis James Chudley
September 2002

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