Wow, you’ve got some poorly constructed dialogue in this fic. It’s so artificial and stiff. Try saying half of the stuff you’ve had these characters saying or thinking aloud. How many people have you ever heard talk like this?
‘It’s obligatory social custom.’ ‘Except as we’re expected to care, as we’re his children.’ “Do I really though want to let go of my anger like that?”
Dialogue and thoughts should be natural, not awkward.
I appreciate the criticism as it’s valid. There are grammar issues such as leaving out an “an”, adding an “as” where they’re not needed.
I’m honestly a little ticked off at the suggestion of reading out loud. I’m tired of people suggesting this as if this is the end all solution for grammar issues, because it is not. No, seriously, it’s not, but it’s very painful for a dyslexic writer to hear because people act like – well, if we only read our work out loud all our grammar issues would be solved overnight.
Mind you, this technique works for some people, but telling someone whose brain processes languages differently that the brain will suddenly process the language correctly with the magical trick of reading things out loud honestly doesn’t get the issue those of us with dyslexia face every single day. Reading it out loud most certainly does not change how our mind processes language.
Reading out loud actually teaches people to write the way they speak, not how writing should naturally flow. Amanda Bumgarner has a lovely essay called Don’t Write Exactly How You Speak. Sure, reading one’s writing out loud does work for some people, but not everyone. For this technique to work, you must be able to verbally recognize the grammar error, and not everyone can. For them, what they read out loud is just as natural as what they didn’t, and this doesn’t just go for those who are dyslexic.
Which reminds me – add a comma every single time your thoughts pause is more bad advice. The mind doesn’t always pause where it should, so you end up with commas in weird places, but other times you need a “;” or a “:” at those pauses instead. For me, the push for reading ones own work out loud as the end solution is just more of the rhetoric which pushes the belief one can correct their grammar errors on their own and never need an editor or as we call it in fanfic – a Beta. Truth is though, everybody should be using an editor or Beta if they can, because only a small handful of people are actually able to achieve perfect grammar as they write.
The fact they can doesn’t make them “great writers” and those who can’t “only good writers” either, because perfect grammar doesn’t mean you’re a good writer. Not at all.