I just thought I'd drop by and help out a new writer. You know, to be nice.
But there a lot of things that I would specifically like to point out here that do need a lot of work.
Firstly, the start of the story, the very first line in fact:
"LAINE! LAINE! LAINE! HELP US!" came the shrill cries of Adelle Canton and Mary Stopple as a mysterious someone in a black jumpsuit pulled a sack over them."
Dialogue is very very stressed. When writing dialogue, think about things people would actually SAY. Shouting a name over and over may seem like it builds up suspense but it actually just is repetitive especially if it's something said in unison. How about splitting it up so that it seems like it's two people talking? Maybe add some description?
Speaking of description also in the first line the "a mysterious someone" is about as descriptive as a "shady character" there's nothing that really says "ooh, interesting" it's a bit bland, honestly.
Maybe spice it up with a little...something more? Not just...that? Maybe that sounds fine to you though. But it's bland to the readers.
"a black jumpsuit pulled a sack over them" ...what? You're telling instead of showing. Instead of feeling fear, I've got a picture of some shady looking Santa who steals children.
Also the "roar in horror" part...I think you were trying to use different words for yell? Instead of roar how about things that are more...in girl-ish? It seems like...this possibly young girl has the voice of some grown man with "roar". Roar brings on like...lion visual and sound effects. Not the type of visual that a small girl would create. Balance that out.
You're word choice is very...iffy. Yes, you're using the words like "encompassing" but they don't sound right in the sentence. It's like you're picking sentences to use larger words in and it doesn't work out that way. Vocabulary comes naturally, it sounds like you're picking out certain words and using a thesaurus for them. Harsh sounding? Yes. But completely true. That's just how it sounds.
"Well, it had to be cold, because it was Winter, and the Hufflepuff Common Room was near the Kitchens, which were near the icy basement."
Way to much explanation. You had to right with just one part. There's no need to have all of this extra information, it's getting a bit chatty. In that same area "soil" is repeated way to much. Maybe use the thesaurus there? "soil" and "soil" eyes? Soil colored eyes honestly sounds horribly gross to me but that's just personally. Maybe dirt or ground or something to describe one not both. Plus, "soil brown" isn't even necessary. Soil is brown. We don't really need that reminder.
"cleaned her teeth", I believe "brushed" is the more natural term for them it sounds to.."I cleaned the floors" instead of "I brushed my teeth" but that's another personal preference there.
There are a lot of areas that certainly need description and just...overall tightening up of the story, I'm mid-way and I'm not exactly sure what emotion I need to be feeling at the moment, honestly. Is it fear for her? I wasn't frightened in the least bit by the 'scary part' I know that it's 12+ but maybe some more...emotion, something that will actually make it more interesting?
Mediocre is probably where this is at right now, for this line especially,
"Well," she thought, "Adelle and Mary have already gotten up and are waiting patiently for me in the Great Hall."
That's not a fluid thought. No one would think or say something like that. Really try working on you're dialogue. It's supposed to be natural. Not stressed and uptight and something that no one would ever say.
Some of the shorter sentences are out of place, I'm not sure if you're trying to build suspense but it ends up being a bit of a hassle really.
Even the dialogue at the end is very very stressed and just...over down/ over the top.
Maybe chill with the descriptions of people? There are more ways to describe a persons race than "Indian yellow" as you put it. Replace Indian with any other race of people and put the stereotypical color right behind that, see? Sounds offensive doesn't it? Maybe think about what you're trying to describe before just jumping into that. Also, there are many different skin tones to people and they shouldn't automatically be judged and characterized just by a stereotypical color. If you really wanted to go that way with it maybe have some fantastic description about his skin if you wanted to. If you didn't then well don't just say "Indian yellow"
Also, Kylie's story overall seems iffy, he didn't go to get help? Also, he saw a grown man sneak into second year's dorm and he's just...okay with it? Seems a bit...off if you ask me.
And he seems to be pretty nonchalant about complete kidnapping, not alarmed enough to get an adult or anything. Huh. Well then.
Oh, another thing I noticed was that I don't know...Kylie's characterization just...needs work. I don't know what he's trying to be, helpful? Scary? Cool? I'm just lost here.
All in all, I think this story needs a great deal of work.
Author's Response: Nice. I'm only a beginner. I don't plan on changing it. This a challenge story and the challenge has already ended. That's a lot of constructive criticism, but quite frankly I'd have liked to see something nice too.