Children's Writer's Guild Forum » Highlights Critique Group #1

The Hummingbird

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  1. Sheila

    Looking forward to discussing this with you all!

    Posted 6 years ago #
  2. phutchison

    Hi Marvin,

    I have attached my critique of your story. It's a great story; it just needs a little reworking. The things I would change are highlighted in blue. The way I would change it is highlighted in yellow. You should definitely include more sensory experiences in your story. This story lends itself nicely to the senses, you should take advantage of that. Also, you need to refer back to the title by comparing the hummingbird train to the actual bird. It sounds like they have some similarities. Overall, a great story. Good luck with publishing it. I hope it helps you to get a foot in the door with some of your other stories.
    Take care,


    1. The_Hummingbird_critique.doc (30 KB, 8 downloads) 6 years old
    Posted 6 years ago #
  3. Thanks for the positive comments and critiques, Patti. I have printed the edited manuscript so that I can study your recommendations, and make the necessary changes.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  4. Sheila

    Hi, Marvin and Patti!

    With as much traveling as I have been doing, I feel like I have been on a speeding train recently!!!

    Patti, you have offered some wonderful advise about Marvin's article. As writers it is so important to develop the story using our five senses where applicable, and I strongly support the comments that you made about this in your critique so I won't belabor this further.

    I was struck, Marvin, by how you never really told me how the Humming Bird (which seems to be the way many sites are spelling the name of this historic train) got its name. I discovered on http://www.historicrailpark that it came from a contest that was held. As a reader, interested in trains, I was curious to know.

    Patti also makes excellent suggestions for your introductory paragraph, which of course, needs to be the most compelling of all the paragraghs since you depend upon it to "hook" your reader.

    On page 3 paragraph 1, please look at the tenses in the sentence concerning"When the alarm bell...," they need to match.

    While the meaning of the 4-8-2 or the 2-6-2 configuration might be clear to a railroad train enthusiast, you might want to make this understandable for the average reader.

    Also, in the sentence that Patti suggests the words "drew near," I additionally feel that the word "the" should precede Humming Bird.

    Lastly, I absolutely concur with Patti about the ending. It is anticlimactic. Her suggestion gets to the real feeling of what I believe that you are trying to convey. Perhaps there is a way for you to weave those elements together.

    This is a wonderful idea for an article. I think that it is highly marketable, but these issues need to be addressed in order to satisfy your reader and publisher. Pardon me if I say, however, that I think you are on the right "track!" --- I have a hard time resisting puns!

    Good luck with this lovely nostalgic tale!


    Posted 6 years ago #
  5. phutchison

    Hi Sheila and Marvin,

    I agree wholeheartedly with your suggestions, Sheila. I know it is hard to know how much to include when you're trying to write a concise article and trying to get it published. It would be great, though to know what those configurations mean. It would give a little more substance to the article. All in all, I think it's a great start, Marvin.

    I am working on a couple of articles and may have something for the forum in about a week or so. Meanwhile, I'm trying to plow through The Things They Carried for my "day job." I have to take it in little doses :(

    See you all in cyberspace!

    Posted 6 years ago #
  6. Ladies,

    I'm reasonably "healthy" now, and soon will be focusing on your suggestions. Thanks for your input.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  7. Sheila


    Take good care of yourself. There's no rush. We'll wait for you!

    Posted 6 years ago #


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