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Rapier

SF's "Write Your Butt Off" II - Return of Writer's Block

SF's Write Your Butt Off! II Votals  

11 members have voted

This poll is closed to new votes
  1. 1. Which submission will you vote for?

    • "The Heart of Dedication"
      0
    • "The Strength Within"
      5
    • "Simply a Hunter"
      0
    • "One More Time"
      3
    • "Perfected"
      2
    • "No One Is Iredeemable"
      0
    • "Going Forward"
      1

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  • Poll closed on 03/09/2019 at 10:00 PM

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3 hours ago, Rapier said:

Well, we didn't really decide on that. I only saw suggestions about how we'd do a new round with multiple votes, but it wasn't decided.

I can switch to multiple votes if everyone wants, though.

I think since everyone agreed it was decided.

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First three critiques are done! I tried to read each one fairly with the same mindset and put in some of personal thoughts in here. If you have any further questions or clarifications, please let me know! ^_^
@Emperor_Siegfried

Spoiler

The first paragraph was a bit choppy and hard to understand. I understand you are trying to melt your words together to paint the picture of the upcoming war the humans are facing, however, with your vague descriptions and awkward wording made it hard to understand what the purpose of this paragraph was until you clarified in the next one.

I agree with someone had said before that Wufei should have been brought into the story much earlier. It was a little cloudy as when Sally came into the picture and her struggles to give the orders to uneasy men. In my own note, though, I think it would have been nice to have a little more background on Wufei. I’ve only watched three Gundam-style shows in my life so maybe I missed a piece here I was supposed to grasp.

Lastly, this piece could have used a re-read before being posted. I know you mentioned earlier that this was a bit rushed, so I believe you know this point already. The prompt was followed, even if it was a tad hazy in the middle, so good job on that regard!

@Anacybele

Spoiler

I am no expert on medical birth, however, it feels a bit off that Morgan would make such a comment of “Why did I have to be a premature birth?” The medieval time period Fire Emblem usually tackles a time where knowledge such of being born premature and mentally off were unknown and ignored. Simply playing on him being smaller, short, and more of a runt would have made a larger impact and fitted the time period better.

The excess use of Original Characters in this piece really threw me in for a loop. I’m not particularly familiar with the Awakening world you built and throwing in characters like Ralph and Polly felt unneeded and unnecessary to get the point across. If you honed down on Morgan, Frederick, Kelli, and Annie, the piece would have been easier to follow and create less dissonance for the reader. This is a piece about Morgan after all!

The omniscient approach to the piece worked in some regards but didn’t in others. At first, you hone in on Morgan and his inner thoughts and feelings and then jump right to Kelli and Frederick, which was a bit of a jump for a reader trying to keep track of all these characters. Keeping consistency is key to truly convey the feelings of these characters. I’d personally would have kept the focus on Morgan throughout the whole piece and really show the inner and external struggle being short truly meant to him.

Lastly, as a nice general suggestion, your descriptions could use a bit of brushing up on some of the characters. Most felt very basic and simple without more than a word on their hair color. The prompt, however, was followed nicely with the external conflict of Morgan.

@Ottservia

Spoiler

The portrayal of Severa in this piece was truly on point! Good job on recreating her character in a believable matter. I’m usually not one that uses bolded words and capitalized sentences to get my point truly across, however, the way you used it here I greatly appreciated.

However, how hard was she swinging that sword to break it? More description on it being old, rusty, and coming apart at the hilt would have helped to make this part a bit more believable. It just felt like it broke out of nowhere. I believe someone else also commented on this sword, but I'm not entirely sure.

Lastly, her father was left ambiguous, however personally I’d like to see you pick someone specific for him. Would have helped to paint your own creative Awakening picture a bit more. However, leaving him unknown also worked well enough for the prompt. I’m just one that likes variety and to see what others can think up of. The prompt was followed nicely enough for Severa’s struggle against being like her mother. Nice job!

 

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Alright, time for the critiques.

@Emperor_Siegfried

Spoiler

This story was alright. Mecha isn't my favorite genre of things, so I'm a little biased against it, but it's well written, the dialogue is mostly good (maybe one or two odd or slightly off lines, nothing major that I would dock you points for). I feel that there's a bit of unnecessary fluff, and there's one major flaw I have with it. Both of those are somewhat linked, and the issue is that all of this is coming from the third party perspective that for most of the piece is Sally oriented. The problem being that the character in question here is Wufei, not Sally. I feel like I really know Sally, I don't feel like I know Wufei. Maybe if we had seen everything from Wufei's perspective, this peace would be improved, and we could better see the tension within him. This is where the fluff comes in, since after Wufei leaves, all the extra stuff that Sally rambles on about is a bit of scene dressing and character development for her. I personally think it would've been better to keep us as the reader more in the dark, which is where following Wufei more would've come in.

@Anacybele

Spoiler

I really liked this one. I might not get all the pairings, or the odd OCs, but that probably just comes from the more unique universe this comes from. Although it took me longer than I would like to admit that Annie was Morgan's sister. I also think just calling the Avatar Robin makes the story a little bit easier to understand. It's just an extra second of processing, so nothing that extreme. Disregarding my nitpicks, I agree with the sentiment that this is probably the best work you've ever written. The dialogue was great, characterization equally so, and I really got a feel for most of the characters. If I had to say one thing I wanted a little more of, it's a look into Fredrick's mind. What's there is amazing, I just wanted a little more of it. But yeah, amazing job. (Also sorry about the ban, Dragoncat's post about that ironically came in halfway through writing my critique. To be optimistic, at least you're only gone till the 7th.)

@Tactician Robin

Spoiler

Right off the bat, small formatting error that really bugs me. Don't indent every starting line, especially the single line ones. It just looks bad imo. Regardless of formatting, this story is alright. It feels odd that Hunter is giving Robin the advice about mistakes, and I kinda thought the whole idea with Morgan is that she came from an entirely different timeline, but there's nothing too wrong with this story. I don't really have much to say, solid story, but it has some room to improve.

@Ottservia

Spoiler

Alright, this might be my favorite story. I am completely biased since I really like Severa, but even without that it's really good. You really get into the head-space of the character, and the situation is actually pretty believable. Even with modern techniques, sharpening swords is pretty tough, so in ye' olden days it'll be even harder for poor Severa. And swords can actually break due to a really poor sharpening job, not quite to the extreme shown in the piece, but that's still an accurate thing that can occur. The father-daughter dynamic here was quite well shown, although the father just being Robin kinda felt like it was a bit of a cop out, since he can just be a generic "oh, I love my daughter" kind of dad. I think the father being someone like Gaius would've made the story more interesting (not to say you should've used Gaius, just an example). 

I won't go into a full breakdown of your story @TheSilentChloey, since it wasn't an official entry. I liked it, and it incorporated the prompt well

@Shoblongoo

Spoiler

I really liked the progression of this one. From a Sothe on the streets who is blind to the truth, to Ike with Greil who learns what mistakes can do, and that you need to improve from them, to Sothe learning that lesson, to Miccy learning that lesson, and then to acknowledgement of the lesson but also a situation that lines back to the start, with them acting as if nothing happened. Really good stuff. The character interactions were all great too. One thing that bugged me was the inconsistent font size. It would make sense if maybe a smaller font indicated thoughts, but that never seemed to be the case. Formatting aside, this is my favorite story when I don't have my Severa bias. With said bias, solid number 2.

@SoulWeaver

Spoiler

I decided to read the author's notes afterwards, and the context that I missed was a little confusing, but not too much so. The lass had premarital sex in an era where you really couldn't do that, something happened and now they're here. I didn't quite get where they were at, or why everyone was scared of Chell (also I missed the fact that this was an original piece because I'm dumb like that, so I though Chell was Morgan for a while). It was pretty well written, no formatting errors. The dialogue was a tad odd in some instances, but it wasn't anything that took me out of the experience.

@AnonymousSpeed

Spoiler

Did you intend this as a tragic comedy? Because I was laughing basically all the way through. Names like "Master Goodness" and "Master Badness", with their sidekicks Trevor and Scott. The fucking Lucky Charms. It was all brilliant. This is like if a 90's Saturday morning cartoon was corrupted but never actually lost that jovial tone. You never cease to surprise me with your story's. Anyways, there were a few spelling errors that threw me off, and I feel that the character of Scott was a little under-cooked, but you've done an amazingly funny job with whatever small amount of time you had to throw this together.

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On 3/2/2019 at 5:00 PM, Tactician Robin said:

The portrayal of Severa in this piece was truly on point! Good job on recreating her character in a believable matter. I’m usually not one that uses bolded words and capitalized sentences to get my point truly across, however, the way you used it here I greatly appreciated.

 

However, how hard was she swinging that sword to break it? More description on it being old, rusty, and coming apart at the hilt would have helped to make this part a bit more believable. It just felt like it broke out of nowhere. I believe someone else also commented on this sword, but I'm not entirely sure.

 

Lastly, her father was left ambiguous, however personally I’d like to see you pick someone specific for him. Would have helped to paint your own creative Awakening picture a bit more. However, leaving him unknown also worked well enough for the prompt. I’m just one that likes variety and to see what others can think up of. The prompt was followed nicely enough for Severa’s struggle against being like her mother. Nice job!

On 3/2/2019 at 5:50 PM, DarthR0xas said:

Alright, this might be my favorite story. I am completely biased since I really like Severa, but even without that it's really good. You really get into the head-space of the character, and the situation is actually pretty believable. Even with modern techniques, sharpening swords is pretty tough, so in ye' olden days it'll be even harder for poor Severa. And swords can actually break due to a really poor sharpening job, not quite to the extreme shown in the piece, but that's still an accurate thing that can occur. The father-daughter dynamic here was quite well shown, although the father just being Robin kinda felt like it was a bit of a cop out, since he can just be a generic "oh, I love my daughter" kind of dad. I think the father being someone like Gaius would've made the story more interesting (not to say you should've used Gaius, just an example).

thank you for the feedback and kind words. The idea I was trying to convey here was that Severa is a girl who has faced nothing but failure and because of that she gives in to a lot of self-destructive thoughts and feelings. One of the main points I was trying to get across is the idea that this girl wants nothing more than to break down and scream. To just end it all and try to escape everything. I feel I could've done a little more to showcase that but that's what I was trying to do. Cause you know when you fail you just gotta keep on trying until you get it but constant failure can lead to feelings of doubt and self destructive thoughts which can and in some cases will end in someone taking their own life. You just need to be reminded that there are people in this world that care about you and one person is really all it takes.

As for the father thing, the reason I went with Robin is because I am very big shipper of RobinxCordelia because the family dynamics make a lot of sense to me. I just really like that pairing nothing more nothing less. It may sound like a copout but I went with my headcanon. This piece in general was just really self-indulgent. But yeah maybe if I had gone with like gaius or henry, it might've been more interesting.

Edited by Ottservia

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5 hours ago, Dragoncat said:

I think since everyone agreed it was decided.

I recalled we agreed to do something, but not what that something is. The multi vote option on Serenes isn't great as it doesn't let you grade things.

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1 minute ago, AnonymousSpeed said:

oh wait now that i've read the entries i have to actually

like

review them

well then

I mean you don't have to but if you want no one is gonna stop you

1 minute ago, AnonymousSpeed said:

Something memorable, I hope. 

Memorable is one way to put it. Hilariously heart warming is another

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53 minutes ago, Jotari said:

I recalled we agreed to do something, but not what that something is. The multi vote option on Serenes isn't great as it doesn't let you grade things.

This is true, but we can try it for a bit, see if it works for us.

@Rapier Didn't you say this was going to be the last round you run?

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4 hours ago, DarthR0xas said:
  Hide contents

I decided to read the author's notes afterwards, and the context that I missed was a little confusing, but not too much so. The lass had premarital sex in an era where you really couldn't do that, something happened and now they're here. I didn't quite get where they were at, or why everyone was scared of Chell (also I missed the fact that this was an original piece because I'm dumb like that, so I though Chell was Morgan for a while). It was pretty well written, no formatting errors. The dialogue was a tad odd in some instances, but it wasn't anything that took me out of the experience.

 

Spoiler

It's less era and more upbringing - there's actually a crap ton of other background and context I didn't go into because it already felt like too much of an exposition dump that was detracting from the actual piece, but to dumb it down really really far so it doesn't take three pages of explaining, their father is a character based off of myself, with the sisters raised as I would like to think I'd raise my own future children, including my inherent religious beliefs, from which the taboo on premarital sex stems. They were separated from him due to an event that left them and their other sister, who is only mentioned by name here(Faith), in another world, and Chell has made it her goal to return to her original home, so she uses the pathways between worlds(think similar to the Dark Corridors the XIII use since I know you're familiar with KH) to try and find the way back home, hence that particular line about Meredith not wanting to go home that seems a little out-of-nowhere otherwise. The reason everyone was scared of Chell was another bit of backstory I had to leave out for the sake of brevity - she learned about Meredith's premarital sex from the possessed Darren before she learned the full story, including the whole possession bit, and, not having access to her sword, attempted to beat him to death, requiring no less than seven people to restrain her. She and Meredith are both actually much more powerful than the narrative of the piece is able to convey, since I was trying to just show the aftermath of that event in something of a multi-theme, with both this and the in medias res themes being called into play.

Sorry that reply was so long, I could go on for like an hour about the story that particular piece is set in. I also did mention up by the word count and title that it was an original setting, but I didn't bold it, so you must have missed it there, my bad. You say the dialogue was a tad off in a couple instances, do you mind pointing some of them out to me so I can review them for future stuff?

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4 minutes ago, SoulWeaver said:

You say the dialogue was a tad off in a couple instances, do you mind pointing some of them out to me so I can review them for future stuff?

Sure, let me grab a few examples.

On 2/26/2019 at 10:29 PM, SoulWeaver said:

“Meredith...I...I just wanted to say... this isn’t easy to admit, but...I...shouldn’t have...yelled at you like...look, you...you know how I am when someone throws a curveball at me, especially one like...well, like that...you know? So I thought...once I calmed down I thought I should come and...you know...apologize. And for trying to punch your...your...”

So here the issue is the overuse of ellipses, some slightly clumsy dialogue, and also the mismanagement of her stutter/stammer. The best way to show this is for me to first re-write this, and show you my thought process behind it.

"Meredith, I...I just wanted to say that I shouldn't have yelled at you li-look, y-you know how I am when someone throws a curveball at me, especially one that's like...like that, you know? So I, well I thought that once I had calmed down that I should come and...you know, apologize, And, for trying to punch yo-your..."

Now, that isn't perfect. The use of I's in critical junctures makes it very hard for me to properly use dashes to indicate repeat uses or thinking, but it gets the point across. It makes the character come off as more scared and stubborn to apologize, rather than just thinking of it really hard. Again, I don't know the characters to well, but it follows the impression I got.

On 2/26/2019 at 10:29 PM, SoulWeaver said:

“He...he didn’t want to risk it - if anyone found out, I’d be targeted too - but...it got to be...it was just...I couldn’t take it anymore. It wasn’t hard to get into his room without him knowing, so I waited for him to come get ready for bed, and when he came I said…”

Same issues as before, but this time with a few odd dashes thrown in.

"He...he didn't wanna risk it. If anyone found out, th-then I'd be targeted too. Bu-but it got to be...it was...it was just too much. I easily got into his room without his knowing, and...and I just as easily waited for him to come get ready for bed. W-when he came in, I...I said..."

Again, a little clumsy on my part since I's with dashes look bad (I-I looks more like a TIE fighter than a stammer), but it generally flows better imo.

On the repeat read, it isn't quite as bad as I originally said, far less glaring things, and more nitpicks like the stammers and waits being kinda off.

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58 minutes ago, DarthR0xas said:

Sure, let me grab a few examples.

Hm...I do tend to overuse ellipses, that is something I've noticed in a lot of my writing, actually. Mostly it's because I personally find the dashes a touch jarring myself. The real problem is that the pauses I want to put in aren't long enough to really merit an ellipse, but too long for a comma, so the sentence ends up with lots of dots.

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12 hours ago, DarthR0xas said:

Alright, time for the critiques.

@Emperor_Siegfried

  Reveal hidden contents

This story was alright. Mecha isn't my favorite genre of things, so I'm a little biased against it, but it's well written, the dialogue is mostly good (maybe one or two odd or slightly off lines, nothing major that I would dock you points for). I feel that there's a bit of unnecessary fluff, and there's one major flaw I have with it. Both of those are somewhat linked, and the issue is that all of this is coming from the third party perspective that for most of the piece is Sally oriented. The problem being that the character in question here is Wufei, not Sally. I feel like I really know Sally, I don't feel like I know Wufei. Maybe if we had seen everything from Wufei's perspective, this peace would be improved, and we could better see the tension within him. This is where the fluff comes in, since after Wufei leaves, all the extra stuff that Sally rambles on about is a bit of scene dressing and character development for her. I personally think it would've been better to keep us as the reader more in the dark, which is where following Wufei more would've come in.

@Anacybele

  Reveal hidden contents

I really liked this one. I might not get all the pairings, or the odd OCs, but that probably just comes from the more unique universe this comes from. Although it took me longer than I would like to admit that Annie was Morgan's sister. I also think just calling the Avatar Robin makes the story a little bit easier to understand. It's just an extra second of processing, so nothing that extreme. Disregarding my nitpicks, I agree with the sentiment that this is probably the best work you've ever written. The dialogue was great, characterization equally so, and I really got a feel for most of the characters. If I had to say one thing I wanted a little more of, it's a look into Fredrick's mind. What's there is amazing, I just wanted a little more of it. But yeah, amazing job. (Also sorry about the ban, Dragoncat's post about that ironically came in halfway through writing my critique. To be optimistic, at least you're only gone till the 7th.)

@Tactician Robin

  Reveal hidden contents

Right off the bat, small formatting error that really bugs me. Don't indent every starting line, especially the single line ones. It just looks bad imo. Regardless of formatting, this story is alright. It feels odd that Hunter is giving Robin the advice about mistakes, and I kinda thought the whole idea with Morgan is that she came from an entirely different timeline, but there's nothing too wrong with this story. I don't really have much to say, solid story, but it has some room to improve.

@Ottservia

  Reveal hidden contents

Alright, this might be my favorite story. I am completely biased since I really like Severa, but even without that it's really good. You really get into the head-space of the character, and the situation is actually pretty believable. Even with modern techniques, sharpening swords is pretty tough, so in ye' olden days it'll be even harder for poor Severa. And swords can actually break due to a really poor sharpening job, not quite to the extreme shown in the piece, but that's still an accurate thing that can occur. The father-daughter dynamic here was quite well shown, although the father just being Robin kinda felt like it was a bit of a cop out, since he can just be a generic "oh, I love my daughter" kind of dad. I think the father being someone like Gaius would've made the story more interesting (not to say you should've used Gaius, just an example). 

I won't go into a full breakdown of your story @TheSilentChloey, since it wasn't an official entry. I liked it, and it incorporated the prompt well

@Shoblongoo

  Reveal hidden contents

I really liked the progression of this one. From a Sothe on the streets who is blind to the truth, to Ike with Greil who learns what mistakes can do, and that you need to improve from them, to Sothe learning that lesson, to Miccy learning that lesson, and then to acknowledgement of the lesson but also a situation that lines back to the start, with them acting as if nothing happened. Really good stuff. The character interactions were all great too. One thing that bugged me was the inconsistent font size. It would make sense if maybe a smaller font indicated thoughts, but that never seemed to be the case. Formatting aside, this is my favorite story when I don't have my Severa bias. With said bias, solid number 2.

@SoulWeaver

  Reveal hidden contents

I decided to read the author's notes afterwards, and the context that I missed was a little confusing, but not too much so. The lass had premarital sex in an era where you really couldn't do that, something happened and now they're here. I didn't quite get where they were at, or why everyone was scared of Chell (also I missed the fact that this was an original piece because I'm dumb like that, so I though Chell was Morgan for a while). It was pretty well written, no formatting errors. The dialogue was a tad odd in some instances, but it wasn't anything that took me out of the experience.

@AnonymousSpeed

  Reveal hidden contents

Did you intend this as a tragic comedy? Because I was laughing basically all the way through. Names like "Master Goodness" and "Master Badness", with their sidekicks Trevor and Scott. The fucking Lucky Charms. It was all brilliant. This is like if a 90's Saturday morning cartoon was corrupted but never actually lost that jovial tone. You never cease to surprise me with your story's. Anyways, there were a few spelling errors that threw me off, and I feel that the character of Scott was a little under-cooked, but you've done an amazingly funny job with whatever small amount of time you had to throw this together.

Aww you could do so via PM if you wanted XD

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10 hours ago, Dragoncat said:

This is true, but we can try it for a bit, see if it works for us.

@Rapier Didn't you say this was going to be the last round you run?

I didn't, but that sounds like a good idea. Yeah, dropping out after this round.

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3 hours ago, Rapier said:

I didn't, but that sounds like a good idea. Yeah, dropping out after this round.

so @AnonymousSpeed are you gonna take over or...

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3 hours ago, Ottservia said:

so @AnonymousSpeed are you gonna take over or...

I'm still up for that, if no one has an issue with it.

***

I'll give some brief impressions of some of the stories I read here. Not formal reviews, just stuff that kind of stuck out to me.

@Ottservia

I actually don't like Severa, because...I'm not into anime, but I actually did like this story. It made me feel sad.

@Shoblongoo

I like how this story also took the stance that sometimes love needs to be a little tougher- keep that up Mr. Father-Man, none of that rod-sparing spoilage. I haven't played FE10 in forever so I can't say whether the ending is morally dissonant or not.

@Anacybele

@Tactician Robin

I'm not generally into the whole OC thing, obviously with exceptions, but still. I think these were done pretty well though, I thought they fit into the stories nicely.

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28 minutes ago, Shoblongoo said:

...go figure the week Ana has a winning piece is the week she catches a ban...

Unbelievable. 

Gotta love some good ol' irony.

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She stayin' banned 'til the 9th? If so we can just get @Dragoncat to sneak the next prompt to us.

...so, since we got some time before any taking over takes place, y'all wanna consider any more o' them rank votes?

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She's unbanned on the 7th. 

I am all for the rank voting/multiple choice voting. I think multiple choice would be easier, like say...depending on how many entries there are, set an amount that you can't go over, but you can go under. So if there's only three entries you just do one, but if there's like six you can vote for two.

I know I posted a site for rank voting in here that I found, I forgot it.

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2 hours ago, Shoblongoo said:

...go figure the week Ana has a winning piece is the week she catches a ban...

Unbelievable. 

tis the way the cookie crumbles. Nothing we can do about it now just have to wait.

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Yo @Rapier, you misspelled mine, it’s ‘Irredeemable’ not ‘Unredeemable’.

I liked a lot of these, though I’ll admit I don’t really read for the purpose of finding critiques so I’m afraid I don’t have any suggestions right now. In the end, though, I really like a good laugh, and Anon managed to give me that while also sticking to the prompt, so he nails it for me.

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@Shoblongoo

Spoiler

 

Excellent work here. A subversion of the prompt that also plays it completely straight all the while working off a foundation that had already been built in the canon. No real criticism to speak of here, it was generally great. Unless the last two stories happen to be particularly superb, this one will get my vote.

Not crazy about the title though.

 

@SoulWeaver

Spoiler

Major issue with this one is that it's just one scene from a larger story. Now that's not necessarily a problem in itself, the issue is that it feels like a larger piece of a different story. The notes you have before the story are basically required to have any sort of grasp as to what's going on (and even with them, I have questions, if they're nobility, how could they not find someone to marry them? If they were commoners with the mafia after them it'd make sense, but that really shouldn't be an issue for rich people). The end result is a story of two people talking about things that I don't really have any emotional attachment to with little else happening.

@AnonymousSpeed

Spoiler

This one also drops us into a conflict we know very little about. It does at least stand up a bit better as an independent narrative and gives us some action to start with. But ultimately I'm still grasping for more. This isn't helped (or maybe it's the complete opposite and it is helped) with how weird the setting is, between the names, the androids, the lucky charms and the focus on Kenya and Detroit of all places. It's stylized I guess, but it's also super schlockey. Not sure how to judge this one.

Plus your majorly cheating with that last line.

 

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2 minutes ago, Jotari said:

 

Plus your majorly cheating with that last line.

Yeah. It wasn't until just after the deadline past I thought of having Master Goodness enact his first idea and hurl a desk at the glass.

It wouldn't have changed anything, I'd end on the same cop out, but it would have been kinda funny when the attack just plooped off the window.

I'm guessing it was not particularly superb enough to steal the Jotari vote royale?

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@SoulWeaver

I did enjoy this one, not the most of all of them but I really liked some of the ideas here. Namely, it sort of has this question of what "is" marriage, beyond the legal sense, and what officiates it, and though it's mostly just brought up I think it's interesting that it is. It does have too many ellipses and stuff though. Aside from using other things like dashes to break up dialogue, you can also use:

Line breaks, which convey a longer pause than a period.

Placing non-dialogue between dialogue, because the "pause" to read the non-dialogue will affect the pacing of the dialogue in the reader's head. Compare:

Spoiler

"It's been too long. We can't go on," they said, staring into the distance.

To

Spoiler

"It's been too long," they said, staring into the distance. "We can't go on."

Sorry not to use an example from your story but it was a little easier for me to just make something up real quick.

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