| Hello. I am a former newspaper reporter and come to wdc to help people with their writing skills. I hope the review I give below has some value for you.
On a cold day in the middle of October, the classes of seventh grade were mixed. The room was intermarried with hyper adolescents ranging from 12 up to two girls of 13, and half a dozen scattered book bags were strewn across the room. The day had < unnecessary started out with a note of promise in the air but ever so quickly has changed. << This sentence started out in past tense, but "has" brought it into present tense. Can't do that. Deleting "has" fixes this tense conflict. For in this room of outcasts, pranksters, and artists, lay chaos.
". . .that broken phrase in history." WHAT phrase?
There was a certain charm about her, < delete comma - no call for one if one could look past her strange adoration for books, bumbling social graces, and the scars that curled into her flesh, long enough to notice.
Over the years, the teenager had < unnecessary told herself she should just be grateful she was alive,< delete comma and that she < unnecessary had no disabilities, but the harsh words of her own mind made that almost impossible. Being premature wasn’t her faultcomma - compound sentence and everyone was quick to remind her she was a gift, that they loved her. But her thoughts did not. They whispered to her, snaring < snaring?? her a little bit more every day, coating her with lies she could no longer refute. Useless. Anyone could tell her she was a waste of space, an idiot, or any other negative connotation, but none of it would compare with what she told herself. Never spoken with doubt, < delete comma or anger, but as cold facts; << incorrect use of a semicolon definite and unchanging.
What follows a semicolon MUST be a COMPLETE sentence.
Above where I lined out "that she" - you already used the pronoun "she", so it is not necessary to identify her again, and "that", too, is unnecessary. All those two words do is increase your word count. Read the sentence w/o "that she" and you will hear the sentence is better without those two words.
Her features were soft, eyes a mix of light and dark green, mirroring that of a forest as it passed under the moonlight. Limbal rings circled around her irises, highlighting the difference in shades of both eyes. Her skin seemed to be kissed by the sun itself, for beautiful coats of light ivory coated her limbs. Rich, wavy chocolate colored chocolate-colored - hyphenated hair dipped below the crown of her head, cascading down the white shirt the kids were forced to wear while the insignia on the front glared out; < incorrect usage of a semicolon the only sign of color on the drab article of clothing.
She stared at a piece of paper, her fingers absently trailing over the scrawled words, a difference from the usual hurried writing she normally partook in. < bad grammar used. It was as if the creativity that had sparked a fire inside her only hours ago, had been was reduced to ashes. It would have been a strange sight had anyone glanced her way, but even those closest to the young teenager were occupied with varied tasks. A boy sat directly in front of her. He was the type of guy that who liked to play pranks and trivial jokes without ever looking at the serious things. His skin was dark, years of sunlight creating a toned cream color that shone stark against the backdrop of pale bodies littering the room.
People are "who", not "that"s.
“Coryyyy Cory!” The boy named Logan whined, poking Malia, < delete comma or “Cory” as she was dubbed three months ago, in the arm with his pencil. A two second two-second - hyphenated conceived idea used in an effort to get her attention. It worked. Ironically, it first brought the elder girl out of her thoughts instead of the boy’s target. Lifting her head, the girl focused her attention on the two, managing a small smile as her fiery, spitfire friend, < delete comma snatched the utensil and threw it across the room. It hit a kid on the back of the head, < delete comma who gave no notice to the object that bounced off his cranium and fell to the floor.
Commas are probably the biggest pain in the rear of writers. It is only a small tick, but a powerful little tick. It does a lot in the English language, so it is imperative to know how/when to use a comma. One of the things a comma does is tell the reader to pause, to hesitate, to take a breath. But if you were to follow that in your story, often the sentences would sound choppy, stuttering, a loss in rhythm. Yes, language has rhythm just like a poem or song.
Let's eat Mom.
Let's eat, Mom.
Do you see how powerful that comma is? A misplaced or missing comma can confuse the reader AND the author. It can completely change the meaning/understanding of a sentence. So, again, it is important to know when/how to use commas.
The scene might have been funny at any other time, a reason to at least give a tiny snicker, but all she felt was fear. A dull ache entered the girl’s chest, where it filtered throughout her body, a harsh heat spreading with it. This wasn’t excitement, < delete comma or any kind of emotion that caused jubilance. No, this was the feeling that one gets after a nightmare overtakes them. Something that hissed and curled around someone in the darkest point of night. It was a feeling the thirteen year old thirteen-year-old - ages are always hyphenated had grown accustomed to, < delete comma and didn’t know how to get rid of. Her hands curled into fists in recognition comma - compound sentence and her sharp nails dug into soft skin, where they pierced the top layer and left small lines melting into flesh. The harsher side of her wanted to turn and scratch her arms, letting red, angry, thin strips marr them, but that wasn’t an option. They would be too noticeablecomma so for now, < delete comma that would have to suffice. It wasn’t used to cause torn skin or blood, just for controlling the emotions swirling like a hurricane beneath her calm exterior. She would not notice the pain nor or the marks left behind until much later, but the force of the action quelled the shaking in her hands. It may have not been not have been the best way to deal with it, but she did not know any other way. It was driven by a need, some part of the girl’s core actions that had grown to commit the act, despite that it was hurting her. After all, her reasoning was spot on, right? She was dealing with an abundance of terror and the pain, when enough, distracted her. Enough that she lost sight of the fire that coursed through her veins, even though it would not stop until every last shred of safety was gone. And even then it would misplaced carriage return
linger, feeding her with pain.
In this sentence: She would not notice the pain nor the marks left behind. . . you have a double negative: not & nor. So, that is why "nor" must be changed to "or".
The rational side of her knew there was no danger, but she was losing controlcomma anyway.
Run. RUN! Searing pain stabbed her chest where it seemed to increase with every new breath. Flames of adrenaline leapt through her small framecomma - compound sentence and harsh intakes of breath expelled from her mouth. The sound of her own blood and increasing heartbeat rushed in her ears, blocking out the question that had curiously raised itself again. Eyes slid to the group’s spot, focused solely on her. Their faces were mirrors of confusion and surprise. That was it,period end of sentence she She needed to disappear, right then. But had the girl taken a moment to think about it, the why of the matter (other than the primal need to flee), she would have realized it was more than that. She didn't want any of them to see her so pathetically weak. Letting instincts take over, she felt her body rise from the chair as the panic reached its breaking point. Her friend rose with her, as if understanding what she was about to do.
“Can we go to the bathroom?” Malia asked, walking to their teachers teacher's desk. She cast a side glance at the shaking girl standing beside her and wordlessly slipped her hand over hers. It wasn’t a question of if, but a matter of when. Grace was ready to bolt either way, and it didn’t matter to her at that moment if her teacher told them no. The adrenaline coursing through her veins wouldn’t leave until the “threat” was no longer present. Her brain was demanding she find somewhere safe, a place that was well away from the loud clamor of students and obscene language floating around. But the woman noddedcomma anyway, giving her permission as the two girls slipped out of the crowded room. The hallways were quiet and welcoming. After all, there was no sound to be heard other than the steady beat of their shoes against tile. They walked towards the restroom, their hands still clasped togethercomma . But but as soon as the door was opened and clicked shut behind them, Malia’s fingers slipped from her grip as her body she turned to face her.
The two matched well in terms of personality,< replace comma with a full colon their snark and wit easy friends. << huh?? "snark" and "wit easy"? In appearance and heightcomma though, they were much less comparable. She was lighter skinned lighter-skinned, pale as a ghost, and rose was an inch or two taller.
The wording ". . .rose an inch or two. . ." implies action. Rose, in this case, is a verb. She doesn't rise all of a sudden to be taller. She ALREADY IS taller. So, that is why "rose" must be replaced with "was".
“Hey, it’s just us. Breathe. Breathe.” Concern melded into her soft voice. Had Grace been just a bit more put together, she would have heard the notes of fear and determination coating the words, which could have provided a way to pull herself together. Alas, she took none of that into account. It was a good attempt, and she was glad for it, but the fear, hot and heavy as it crushed her chest, would not leave her until hours later. The initial panic may leave, but the rest of it would not be so easy to just get rid of comma which . Which was why she was so furious at herself for not being able to calm down alone. She knew the effects. It would torture her for a few hours before finally fading away to a mere ache of fear. She didn’t need help; << incorrect use of a semicolon or so was the story she told herself. But Malia never cared if she wanted it or not, period end of sentence she She was there. Then again, if Logan, one of the few people who knew what was happening in her head, didn't care enough to ask if she was okay or attempt to calm her when this happened, why should anyone else? She had created this torment, her own purgatory at times, so it should be her burden, < delete comma and hers alone, delete comma to deal with. But even with that knowledge, she was about to open her mouth and screw all of it over. It was an act of weakness on her part, delete comma and something she had vowed never to do again.
Yetcomma - introductory clause here she was, < delete comma doing it anyway. Her fingernails begin to dig into the warm skin of her palms once more, tearing into the already born crescent moons, and shredding < SHREDDING? deeper into the skin. Pain bit at her body and a hiss escaped her thin red lips as drops of crimson appeared in the crevices of her nail beds. She needed control.
The sight of Malia’s concerned face overtook her mind once more, though it brought forth a voice that harshly took hold whenever anger burned hot or fear lurked below. You actually think she wants you as her friend? Of course she doesn’t. You can’t stop being so damn stupid, so you deserve to be friendless. Maybe once you gain that, you'll stop scaring people away. You’re pathetic...and they all know it. << Is this dialogue? Is someone speaking? If so, it needs to be a new paragraph. The cruel words were synonymous with the dark, round shells of bullets, but instead of piercing skin and taking a life, they penetrated her skull and took her sanity. None of it had changed in the past year as her mind slipped deeper and deeper into a nightmare. Alexis has it worse, don’t even try telling Mal. This is your fault! You actually thought she cared about you. When the time comes, she’ll leave. As for Logan, he already thinks you’re pathetic. He didn’t even glance your way when you freaked. << More dialogue? Where are the quotation marks? A shaky breath expelled from her lungs; it wasn’t like she wanted to be such a disappointment. She was trying, honestly, she was. But that didn’t matter, did it? When the sun dove behind black, dove behind black? VERY very awkward. I suggest you reword that part and the clock ticked at midnight, she would still be the weird, antisocial teenager everyone saw her as.
There is dialogue in the paragraph above, but no quotation marks. Also, at the point dialogue begins, you need a new paragraph.
Three reasons to start a new paragraph:
1. the subject changes
2. the speaker changes (dialogue}
3. the scene changes
So, move the dialogue to a new paragraph, use quotation marks, and be sure to include attribution.
A whimper escaped her mouth when the intrusive thoughts left. They were as common as the terror, but the brutality varied. She was drowning. Her friend's voice captured her attention, the calming voice tinged with fear, still begging her to listen. The lifesaver was thrown, and it was up to her to grab it. Trembling, she took a step forward, arms wrapping around her before she could say a word. And for the first time since she walked into the school, a sliver of calm washed over the girl.
I'm not sure I get the gist of this entire composition. I must have missed the point.
Anyway, the biggest problem here is punctuation.
There are two parts to writing:
1. the story
2. the mechanics (punctuation, grammar, word usage, spelling, sentence structure, formatting, and so on.)
You can have a good story, but mess it all up with poor mechanics.
I suggest as you write have a tab opened to dictionary.com which comes with a thesaurus. Both are free. Then you have two reference books right there at your disposal to check spelling, definitions, whether two words are hyphenated. The thesaurus gives you synonyms, antonyms, and can help increase your vocabulary. Good tools if you don't have a dictionary right there next to your computer and weighing a ton.
This was interesting reading. A bit overdone. What I take away from this is you are/were more concentrated on sentence structure, word usage, long descriptions -- more than you were concerned about just telling the story. I think you could edit this a bit and simplify much of it while at the same time not losing anything about the story.
I also strongly urge all writers to proofread their work before posting.
I sense I am missing something, but I hope what I've shared with you has some value for you.
I wish you much success!