The more I reject the demon, however, the more its pertinacity grows with unyielding resolve. He follows my every thought with conviction — has an answer for my every action, and speaks words indisputable before I could ever mutter a single syllable in retaliation. Herein, I recognized the futility of my resistance, and find the only solution stirring within me, capitulation. For the demon had set my anger aflame inside my frame and my mind is ablaze as a consequence. The destruction is all but complete. The battle has been decided. What little anger managed to escape the inferno retreats to the deepest recesses of my brain. This is a contradiction to what I had projected for I entrusted more of a fight from such a raw and powerful emotion, and because of this...

  • 1
    Hmmm. I've got conflicting emotions on whether this conforms to our critique guidelines. Thoughts, people? (Also, can we come up with a better tag here than style?)
    – Standback
    Jul 5, 2013 at 4:01
  • Not when your last line is "the war was far from over." Jul 5, 2013 at 10:47
  • Ok Lauren. I removed the last sentence. Now what do you think?
    – Shawn
    Jul 5, 2013 at 12:06
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    1) Capitulation doesn't "rise." It's a surrender, a falling. 2) How can the narrator's anger escape the inferno of the demon's anger? I'm lost. 3) You have contradictory things going on here: You want the narrator to end a conflict (with his/her emotions), but the end result is that he's angry. That's conflict. I could see being overwhelmed and giving in TO anger (c.f. Luke vs. Palpatine), but this paragraph doesn't make much sense. Jul 5, 2013 at 13:17
  • capitulation can be conveyed as a feeling, therefor it can arise from within someone as a realization. Remember, I'm not using capitulation to show an army's intent of surrendering. And the demon is not the angry one. The narrator is, if you read the "my anger" part of it. And to escape an inferno, or in this case, the onslaught of the demon, and especially if the narrator had prepared for it, then there is always cause (at least in the human mind) to prepare to run as is "fight or flight mode. I hope that helps
    – Shawn
    Jul 5, 2013 at 14:17

1 Answer 1


Shawn, you are attempting to create a colorful, demanding work of art by painting an entire canvas with slashing brushstrokes of language. It's exciting, and I commend you for your effort.

Effective writing, however, must be built on a solid infrastructure. Every nuance of language must be respected. If you falter in your use of a single word, you can bring an entire sentence crashing down; the death of that sentence can destroy a paragraph. Multiple mistakes can be fatal to the entire work.

Let's take your first sentence. The word aversion is not a usually quantifiable entity. Although there are ways to use "aversion" as something that can be counted, and subsequently modified by the word "each," it is rather unusual to use it this way. Aversion is a feeling; it is a distaste, a disgust, a revulsion; it is how one feels about something. You certainly might feel an aversion to the demon, but it is very difficult to imagine a circumstance in which you would have, create, or experience multiple aversions to the demon. So right off the bat, your sentence would make most readers extremely puzzled.

Then, in the same sentence, you mention the demon's capacity. The capacity of anything is the quantity it can hold. So this word is almost never used without stating what is being held. For example, "The water tower's capacity was a thousand gallons." Note that it usually refers to inanimate objects. When using it with living creatures, it generally refers to an ability, thus: "My father's capacity for hard work would always exceed my own." To say the demon's capacity for me simply makes no sense at all.

These two significant examples are both in your first sentence. Your enthusiasm is admirable, and your energy is marvelous, but your basic writing tools need work. I strongly urge you to seek out writing courses and workshops. Do you have any friends who can advise and guide you? A mentor can be invaluable. Also, it's great to find a writing group where you can get together with friends and share and critique each other's writing, or form your own. That's what I did when I was starting out and had no idea how to write my way out of a paper bag. Most important of all, keep at it! You can do it if you just don't quit. Good luck!

  • I believe the small example is hard for people to understand. But I fear posting the part that leads into this for fear of it being copied. Is there anyway I can send you an email John? An email containing the first couple of pages that lead into this?
    – Shawn
    Jul 6, 2013 at 6:32
  • Shawn, I am flattered that you would ask. Thank you for the compliment. I love helping other writers, which is why I do teach writing classes whenever possible. But my schedule is extremely full, and I can't really take on any more. Let me really reassure you that the risk of your material being stolen is nil. Believe me, it's not going to happen. No writer of serious intent would steal from another writer, and any writer who would steal would not have the ability to take a small piece of your material and make it into anything like what you would write. If you want to show more, please do. Jul 6, 2013 at 6:41
  • I changed the first sentence as well. Let me know if it makes more sense. I will post another thread in the next few minutes. Thanks John!
    – Shawn
    Jul 6, 2013 at 6:45
  • It does make a bit more sense now, but it is still off kilter. "Rejection" clearly indicates that you are not accepting something the demon is doing, but it is odd to use the word in this way. What are you rejecting? The demon's insults? His fireballs? His sword thrusts? His candy? Just exactly what? And "pertinacity" means persistence. Obviously you are trying to say the demon is sticking with the task of defeating you, but this isn't the way to say it. Pertinacity is not directed at a person. When you use a word, you must have a sense of the dynamics of how it is properly used. Jul 6, 2013 at 15:42
  • Yes, the narrator is rejecting what the demon is trying to infuse in him. The narrator is rejecting from the demon all that is forgiveness and tolerance. I know its odd to make a demon something other than what its meaning defines, but the narrator views anything as good as evil, therefor the demon is not really a demon to the reader, only to the narrator. Pertinacity I believe, is used correctly given the circumstances, as the demon is stubborn in his ways and it is directed towards the narrator. I guess removing "for me" would make it more clear. Thoughts?
    – Shawn
    Jul 6, 2013 at 16:12

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