short story

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This topic contains 44 replies, has 20 voices, and was last updated by  rhiga 7 years ago.

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  • #317975

    Devyani Borade
    Participant
  • #398952

    Devyani Borade
    Participant

    Would someone (or two) be willing to read my short story and give me feedback? snowwis (it is only 1500 words)

  • #398953

    Mambeerolobaplinz
    Participant

    Hi
    I write Short Stories to.
    Post it, I’ll read it. Know one will read it
    if you don’t post it!

  • #398954

    cayellow
    Participant

    Post your story in the Critique Central part of the forum.  If it doesn’t fit into one of the genres (Horror, Romance, Sci-Fi), then post it in the Literary Fiction section.  At the top of your post let us know how many words are in it, and then ask for criticism. (Specify what you want – e.g., check grammar and spelling, consistency of style, plot development, character development, structure, etc.  If you don’t specify, you might get one or more critiques that address one, some, or all of those things.) 

    After you have done this, wait a while.  You might get five responses in an hour or two responses in a week.  You never know.

  • #398955

    Devyani Borade
    Participant
  • #398956

    Devyani Borade
    Participant

    Would appreciate anyone who would critique this story not for grammar and spelling, etc, but simply for readability, is it interesting? Do you want to keep reading after the first paragraph? Thank you so much snowwis

  • #398957

    dizzie61
    Participant

    snowwis – 2007-11-03 9:37 AM

    Would someone (or two) be willing to read my short story and give me feedback? snowwis (it is only 1500 words)

    Gee, I wish I could write stories that were that short. Nothing I ever write seems to finish up in less than 4k… usually more. 🙂

  • #398958

    Devyani Borade
    Participant

    t

  • #398959

    HDTV16
    Participant

    Linda,

    Rather than posting an attachment, can you just cut and copy the material to your thread?  Some readers are cautious about downloading a Word Document.

  • #398960

    Devyani Borade
    Participant

    would appreciate any feedback on the following short story (1500 words). I am not so concerned with spelling and grammar, just does the reader find interesting and does one want to keep reading after the first paragraph. thanks so much, linda

    Fireflies on Tuesday

    August 1967

    On that Indian summer morning so long ago, Kadee’s father parted the screen door. With his hands in his overalls and no smile to be found on his worn face, he approached the driver’s window of Maddie’s car. Not a breeze was blowing that morning, and for some reason Maddie paused to look at a robin perched low on the live oak by the drive. Somehow it was easier to look at the bird than Mr. Davis. With his droopy face and stooped shoulders that said his burdens had sat there too long, Mr. Davis brought his arms forward and placed them on Maddie’s door. He looked off to his right, spit his cigarette cough and finally turned to face her. “Kadee won’t be going to work today, you best get on along.” Maddie knew then that something had changed in her best friend’s world since she had last seen her the afternoon before.

    September 1966

    On the brink of summer’s end, they sat in the dark under the old pecan grove in Maddie’s backyard trying to conquer their fears of what morning would bring………first day of their senior year. Maddie held in her lap a pair of new shoes her mother had brought home for her that week. Preparing for the first day of school included deciding what to wear. It was a moonlit Tuesday night, one of many evenings in which the girls had sat under the stars.

    Maddie had known Kadee since 8th grade, when Kadee moved from Dallas to Goodnight, a small community outside of Dallas. “Only trouble would come with all the coloreds coming into those Dallas schools,” Mr. Davis had said trying to justify moving his family to Goodnight four years before. Kadee Davis and Maddie Fry had been best friends since that time, almost a quarter of their lives.

    “The fireflies come out and then they disappear…………do you ever wonder where they go when their lights go out? Do they make their lights go on and off or do you think the lights just happen to them?” Kadee asked as she lay back and looked up into the sky. Kadee loved to catch them in a jar, look at them, and then let them go. She was fascinated with the creatures.
    “Mama said since you are spending the night, she’ll drive us to school tomorrow. I hate riding the bus.” Maddie said as she lay back and looked at the sky with Kadee.

    With long blonde hair and a mouth set in a perpetual smile, Kadee Davis had made a hit at school four years before. The one word to describe her was “happy”. She always thought the best of any situation. Maddie, with her dark pony tail and her height making her a good head taller than Kadee, was more timid, more diffident with her school mates, more unsure of circumstances that might await her. But she and Kadee were soul mates.

    Goodnight, Texas had two red lights, a library, a general store, 1,500 inhabitants, a high school football team to die for…………and a manufacturing plant, Eastman Central D, knows locally as ECD, that employed, in some capacity, a good portion of the county’s population. It manufactured parts for the Santa Fe Railroad.

    Maddie and Kadee would share in the football activities but mostly they were looking forward to something they had never done before. They had enrolled in a class only for seniors, Vocational Occupational Education, going to class in the morning and working in the afternoon at ECD, learning, but also allowing them to earn money for university the next year.

    The first day of the second week of school, at 12:30 in the afternoon, Maddie and Kadee walked into the lobby of Eastman Central. Ruth, a blue haired woman of few words and a thin smile, sitting behind a metal desk in the lobby, met Maddie’s eyes for a moment and pointed the girls toward double swinging doors. ECD was the typical manufacturing company of the mid 20th century. Upon entering, the smell of oil and grease was overwhelming.

    “Mr. Schrupp’s office is the first glass door to the right about 100 yards down after you go through the double doors…think he’s expecting you,” Ruth said and she pointed toward the doors and returned her gaze to her morning newspaper.

    Kadee walked through first. The moment they entered, the calls, the whistles, the loud voices from the above mezzanine caught them off guard. Was it a strange sound on a radio, some sort of loud speaker gone array? Both girls finally got the courage to glance up and there, up above, were about 25 men of all ages glaring at them. They finally realized that human beings were making those noises. Neither girl had ever been the object of the opposite sex, neither had ever even had a formal date.

    “I think I see his office,” Maddie noted as she hurried her gait in front of Kadee.

    Maddie was assigned to the accounts receivable department, in the office three glass doors down from Mr. Schrupp’s office while Kadee was assigned to the print shop, an isolated room closer to the front of the building with more stacks of paper than Kadee had ever seen.

    Kadee’s manager, Hubert Chambers, was a quiet man, a man set apart both physically and otherwise, from others in this southern town. For one thing, he was Jewish, tall with dark skin and a shadow face that always seemed to need a shave. He wasn’t much of a manly man, but he seemed to be nice to Kadee. Maddie was sure of that, she had seen his kindness. He was a married man with three small children, at least that is what the picture on his table told Maddie, although he kept an apartment close to the office during the week. She never really asked why he didn’t just drive home each day.

    Maddie was assigned to the billing department to work for a manager she only knew as C.D. He had been stricken with polio when he was young and walked with one foot always dragging the other, but he never let this affliction slow him down. Years later, Maddie wondered why she had never bothered to learn his last name.

    One day a few months later, along about mid-school year, Maddie went down to have her usual afternoon break with Kadee. Kadee was not there, and neither was Hubert.

    Both girls were both working all day now that it was June after their senior year. Maddie was invited to go with Kadee and Hubert to lunch, and oddly they ended up having spaghetti at Hubert’s apartment. Maddie felt strange but somehow could not put her figure on why. Is this normal? She just did not know.

    Sometime in later July, Maddie walked in on C.D. talking to another manager. They paused when she entered but she had heard enough to know they were talking about Kadee and Hubert. It was just a feeling.

    In early August, Maddie’s mother commented out of the blue that she wanted Maddie to quit working at ECD. “Mama, I only have another month anyway.” She overheard her mother, always a lady with words, say to her father later that day “stupid and evil are not necessarily the same but then, they are not mutually exclusive either.”

    August 1967

    Maddie seemed to awake from her trance, from the memories of the past year. Mr. Davis was still looking at her, and oddly enough the robin was still perched on the tree, almost as if it was eve dropping. Did Mr. Davis blame her somehow? Could she have prevented the turn of events?

    “You need to go on now,” Mr. Davis said as he turned away, placed his hands back in his overalls, and began meandering back to the porch.

    Maddie knew better than to try to contact Kadee. She did hear from her again, once, in November of that year, Maddie’s freshman year at college. She received a letter at her dorm at state university.

    “Maddie, I’m getting married. His name is Bill, and he is a good man, a Dallas policeman, you would like him. He’s 15 years older, but I love him so.”

    Maddie sat on her bed, lonely that afternoon in her dorm. Freshman year at any university is always a little sad. Her eyes filled with tears and maybe a little anger too. Kadee was supposed to be sitting here in the dorm room with Maddie; that is the way they had planned it for almost three years. Maddie never answered Kadee’s letter.

    Fall 1997

    Maddie sat on her long L shaped front porch holding her telephone in her hands, hands she barely recognized anymore. As the day dwindled into evening, she decided to make the call. She had gotten the number by simply calling Mason County information, a little community in the piney woods about three hours from Goodnight. This was a September, still warm, and so quiet as Maddie’s nearest neighbor was a mile away.

    “Kadee, it’s Maddie.” She heard nothing.

    “Oh…… my Maddie. “ They talked for awhile, almost like thirty years had not gone by, and yet, almost like they never really knew each other either.
    After awhile, Maddie said maybe they could get together sometime and that she would call her again soon.

    “Maddie, do you still watch the fireflies? They still exist here where I live.”
    That warm September evening was a Tuesday.

    When youth is abundant, dreams are like fireflies on a summer night, easy to catch and capture and ponder and release……..Somewhere along the way, as one approaches the evening of life, dreams become memories.

    The End

  • #398961

    HDTV16
    Participant

    Linda,

    First off, thank you for posting this within the thread so Forumites can find it without the attachment.  That will at least assure more readership.

    Secondly, please let me put my caveat: I’m only one person, and I’m not a professional editor.  As such, my critiques are only opinion.  You’re the writer, and only you know what your story needs.  So, take my words sparingly.  If they resonate, great; if they don’t, then just ignore them.

    In answer to your question, I was interested in moving forward after the first paragraph.  You placed a good hook in the question of what happened to Kadee, which intrigued me enough to take it further.

    But then, that’s where you lost me.  Since this was posted in the “Mystery/Crime” section, I was expecting something more than the mystery of what actually happened between Kadee and Hubert, which you supplied the answer through some of the side details. 

    Though I believe your piece might have been more appropriately placed in the Literary section, I still kept reading, turning to the question of character.  You took a turn I didn’t expect in the story.  Part of me wonders why Maddie didn’t contact Kadee.  They had been best friends at least four years.  Even if one considers the time period (1960s), and that Maddie could have simply been respectful of her elders, watching as she willfully failed to submit to her own mother’s wishes put in jeopardy the decision to ignore her friend altogether.  It seemed slightly out of character that she wouldn’t at least try to find Kadee away from the homestead to see what happened, that she would just go on to college and cease any contact with her friend until thirty years later.  But that’s just me.

    Finally, I think you should scrap everything following Kadee’s final question at the end.  The rest of it felt like a moralistic message, which I believe was clear enough in the story without those final words.

    As I’ve already mentioned, this piece felt more Literary and has some great potential to explore big issues.  And for what it’s worth, I think you could broaden up this piece to address more of Maddie’s character and growth as she’s navigating through this season in her life.

    Thank you for sharing.

  • #398962

    Devyani Borade
    Participant

    Stephen, thank you so much for spending time to write and review my short story. I have definitely taken into account what you said, especially taking the last paragraph out, and modified. My submission is due Dec 3. I also went to your blog and enjoyed. Again, thank you for your thoughtful response. snowwis.

  • #398963

    ljb1947
    Participant

    My short story Assassin’s Mark is now up in the current issue of Sorcerous Signals at http://www.sorceroussignals.com. Hope you will pop over there to read and enjoy.

  • #398964

    KublaiKhan
    Participant

    I read your story, and enjoyed it. I especially liked the way you described the fighting; the mental images were clear without being gory.

    Congratulations.:)

    Carol

  • #398965

    SunStar
    Participant

    Hey JR, congrats!  Keep it up!

  • #398966

    tijuanasmellsgood
    Participant

    Congrats, always nice to see your work appreciated by others, esp. editors who read tons of stuff and know how to separate the good from the not-so!

    janet

  • #398967

    Dizi_Di
    Participant

    I hope I don’t regret writing this later, but I popped over just to have a look, read the first four or five paragraphs and was hooked! I’ll read the rest and get back to you. Good job!

    I have to ask, though, can you clarify this sentence for me?

    She dismissed the two gaffers, bending over their ale stood at the filthy bar,
    and the young sailor at a table, head hanging almost into his mug.

    Probably a typo, but it surprised me. That, or maybe I’m even more drunk than I thought.

  • #398968

    ljb1947
    Participant

    OMG. Do you know how many times that story was proofed by multiple people and it STILL had an error? *bangs head on keyboard*

    I hate that. *takes deep breath and calms self*

    But I’m glad it hooked you and I hope you enjoy reading it. Thanks for posting. 🙂

  • #398969

    Carmela Jones
    Participant

    I am trying to get a short story published in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. I just had one rejected, which really didn’t surprise me. It is a good story, but not exactly in their line.
    Anyway, I have written another one, which I think, has a bit of a chilling conclusion. It could easily be turned into a novel. I guess my question is – would writing it initially as a short spoil it for later expansion into a novel? The story line would remain essentially the same, and the end of the story would be identical. There is just a lot of room in it for story development.

  • #398970

    Mikala Engel
    Participant

    In SF and fantasy, turning a published short story into a novel is common. Maybe the best known example is “Ender’s Game,” by Orson Scott Card.

    It was first published in Analog, then became a novel, and is now a whole series of novels.

    His website is a good one for writers, by the way. http://www.hatrack.com/

  • #398971

    Carmela Jones
    Participant

    Thank you. I thought it was. I know 2001: A Space Odyssey started out as a short. This one would actually start off a science fiction book I sort of started a couple of years ago and is still in the can. I just didn’t want to screw up a story. I have made enough mistakes in this business already.
    I will check out that web site later. I just finished crawling around in the crawl space under my house on a project and am tired, sore and crabby.

  • #398972

    Carmela Jones
    Participant

    Thank you. I thought it was. I know 2001: A Space Odyssey started out as a short. This one would actually start off a science fiction book I sort of started a couple of years ago and is still in the can. I just didn’t want to screw up a story. I have made enough mistakes in this business already.
    I will check out that web site later. I just finished crawling around in the crawl space under my house on a project and am tired, sore and crabby.

  • #398973

    Ellesmama
    Participant

    James, I never realised that. I just went and looked through my old Analog magazines. The story is indeed there, August 1977. It took me awhile because so many of the covers have been ripped off and I wasn’t sure of the year. It doesn’t appear that Card was one of the feature authors in that one. Thanks for the info. This has always been something I’ve also wondered about.

    ~ Jim

  • #398974

    Ellesmama
    Participant

    James, I never realised that. I just went and looked through my old Analog magazines. The story is indeed there, August 1977. It took me awhile because so many of the covers have been ripped off and I wasn’t sure of the year. It doesn’t appear that Card was one of the feature authors in that one. Thanks for the info. This has always been something I’ve also wondered about.

    ~ Jim

  • #398975

    Mikala Engel
    Participant

    Jim Lamb – 2009-03-21 1:38 PM James, I never realised that. I just went and looked through my old Analog magazines. The story is indeed there, August 1977. It took me awhile because so many of the covers have been ripped off and I wasn’t sure of the year. It doesn’t appear that Card was one of the feature authors in that one. Thanks for the info. This has always been something I’ve also wondered about. ~ Jim

    “Ender’s Game” was the story that made Card famous, so, no, he wasn’t yet a featured writer.  I think he won the John Campbell Award that year, primarily because of “Ender’s Game.”
    The novel was written a good deal later, and won the ’86 Hugo.
    The Analog version is still my favorite.  When you can still  remember the opening lines of a story thirty-two years later, you know the story meant something to you.
  • #398976

    Mikala Engel
    Participant

    Jim Lamb – 2009-03-21 1:38 PM James, I never realised that. I just went and looked through my old Analog magazines. The story is indeed there, August 1977. It took me awhile because so many of the covers have been ripped off and I wasn’t sure of the year. It doesn’t appear that Card was one of the feature authors in that one. Thanks for the info. This has always been something I’ve also wondered about. ~ Jim

    “Ender’s Game” was the story that made Card famous, so, no, he wasn’t yet a featured writer.  I think he won the John Campbell Award that year, primarily because of “Ender’s Game.”
    The novel was written a good deal later, and won the ’86 Hugo.
    The Analog version is still my favorite.  When you can still  remember the opening lines of a story thirty-two years later, you know the story meant something to you.
  • #398977

    Carmela Jones
    Participant

    OK, I feel like I am living in this thread, absorbing all the stuff I read in here. Excuse me, if I ask too many questions, but all of you are very, very helpful. And I need all the help I can get.
    From what I understand, a novel manuscript, when submitted, doesn’t have to be perfect. An editor and proofreader help clear up grammar errors and slight inconsistancies in the story. The story line just needs to be strong, with good characters.
    How about short stories? Do these need to be absolutely perfect when submitted? Or does the same process occur, that an editor likes the story and works with the author in cleaning it up a bit?

  • #398978

    hal9mil
    Participant

    I’m not in the publishing field, so take my opinion with a grain of salt. However, I’d say that any manuscript you submit should be pretty near perfect. One or two typos, or small grammatical issues here and there probably won’t hurt if you have a strong voice and a strong story, but too many will tell the editor/agent that you’re not a professional.

    Personally, I would never submit anything that I hadn’t proofread extensively. Things will always get by — that’s life — but that’s different than knowingly submitting something that was rough, because you think an editor will work with you to fix it up. They want to do as little “fixing” as possible. They’re more into the “high-sheen buffing” stage. 🙂

  • #398979

    Carmela Jones
    Participant

    I am proofing the stories, but as you say, things will always slip by. I don’t want to try to get by with sloppy writing, figuring an editor will “fix it.” But if there is something minor wrong that I did not catch, will the editor work with me to fix it.

  • #398980

    topdownguy
    Participant

    I’m at about the same level as you wondo, but my understanding is either short stories or manuscripts should as perfect as you can get them before sending anything in. As others stated, of course things will slip by, probably moreso in a novel because they’re longer. My understanding is the less work publishers have to do on an individual piece, whether it be short or long, the better.

  • #398981

    charliebrown20
    Participant

    I think you know that anything should be as perfect as you can make it before submitting it to anyone, so I’m sure that’s not what you were asking.

    In my experience, it all depends on who you are sending it to. There are editors who will only fix typos (and only if your number of them is slight — typos can be detrimental to your presentation as a professional).  Those editors do not have the time (so they say) to go back and forth with an author over rewrites, so whatever you send them is what will be published.  It better be perfect.  Others will see the potential of a better story for their publication with a few specific revisions.  However, they must first fall in love with the story you sent them and feel that it is worth the effort to suggest rewrites.

  • #398982

    Carmela Jones
    Participant

    Yes, that is what I am asking. In other words perfection rules with the short story. Thank you very much

  • #398983

    charliebrown20
    Participant

    wondo – 2009-06-02 1:49 PM In other words perfection rules with the short story.

    Pretty much.   😉   The short story market is tougher than I think most people realize. And SF/F is especially tough because it has a large audience, and some of the best writers in the business are competing with you.

  • #398984

    writersway
    Participant

    If you happen to have alot of grammatical errors or typos in your manuscripts, maybe you use alot of extensive sentences? You could check for that, maybe it’ll help.

  • #398985

    Carmela Jones
    Participant

    I don’t tend to have a LOT of grammar errors or typos. When I am ready to submit all that stuff has been straightened out. I was just curious if the process for a short story, with an editor working with the author over the manuscript, took place. Apparently they are a bit more picky about shorts.

  • #398986

    Mikala Engel
    Participant

    I think there’s some misunderstanding about what we mean when we say a short story must be “perfect” before submission. e all make the occasional mistake, and the occasional grammar mistake, or a typo now and then, shouldn’t bother any editor. but if you’re a writer, you should nearly always get the grammar and punctuation correct. That’s a given. And you should always proofread to get as many typos out as possible, be it a short story or a novel. But when we talk about a short story or a novel being “perfect” before submission, we don’t mean a complete lack of typos and grammatical errors, we mean story, character, mood, tone, flow, theme, etc. This is where a short story needs to be as perfect as you can possibly make it.

    A novel has enough room that you can get away with a slow stretch, or a needless chapter, or a break in consistancy, etc. A short story simply lacks the room for mistakes of this type. Either a short story works from beginning to end or it doesn’t.

    Having said this, editors are just as likely to work with short story writers as with novelists. If an editor likes the short story, but sees one or two problems, such as an ending that doesn’t stand up, or a character that can be eliminated, or a plot change that will help the story, he’ll ask for these changes, if he thinks making them will give him a story that fits his magazine.

    When a short story editor sees potential in a particular story, he’ll usually ask for changes, and go from there. When a short story editor doesn’t like a given story, but sees potential in the writer, he’ll ask for more stories.

    Really, novel or short story, teh grammar and punctuation should be very, very good, especially in the first few pages, but this simply isn’t what we mean when we say a short story needs to be perfect. We mean a short story is either good, well-written, and original, or it isn’t. We mean it begins well, and ends better. We mean the middle maintains the story line and connects beginning and ending in just the way it should. We mean there are no major flaws in plot, pace, character, theme, mood, tone, etc.

    If a short story does these things, it is “perfect,” and no editor will reject it because there’s a grammar mistake on page four, three typos on page six, and two comma errors on the last page. If it doesn;t do these things, fixing it can be extremely tough, and take more time than an editor has to give, especially when there are other short stories coming in that do all these things well. An editor will ask for a rewrite on short stories, if they come close to making the cut, and if he sees the problem, but you do have to come very, very close to making the cut before this is likely to happen.

    As I said, a novel has a lot more room, there are fewer good novels out there, and editors are more likely to ask for rewrites/revisions, and to work hand in hand with the wirter, for just these reasons.

    But as important as grammar and punctuation are, this is not what we mean when we say a short story must be perfect and a novel doesn’t. We’re talking about the story, the characters, the plot, the theme, the pace, the flow, the mood, the tone, etc.

  • #398987

    ljb1947
    Participant

    In other words, if you want to sell you’re better off writing novels. Seriously.

    But I can GUARANTEE that no matter how hard you work on a novel that an editor is going to see things that need to be changed. And I actually think that for a fairly experienced writer OVER-editing may be a problem. I’ve seen too many writers edit out what made their novel unique by editing it forever. (I hear James screaming in protest so I’ll go hide. LOL)

  • #398988

    Mikala Engel
    Participant

    jrtomlin – 2009-06-03 12:20 PM In other words, if you want to sell you’re better off writing novels. Seriously. But I can GUARANTEE that no matter how hard you work on a novel that an editor is going to see things that need to be changed. And I actually think that for a fairly experienced writer OVER-editing may be a problem. I’ve seen too many writers edit out what made their novel unique by editing it forever. (I hear James screaming in protest so I’ll go hide. LOL)

    Not really.  I don’t really believe you can over-edit, but editing, to me, just means fixing the grammar problems, correcting typos, and tightening a sentence or twelve.  You can, however, do too many rewrites and revisions.
    I’m a write it once, do a one pass second draft, and the submit it kind of guy.  I’m a firm believe in a one pass second draft, which eliminates teh problem you mention, and I do think many, many writers do far too much rewriting and revision.   Rewriting and revision is where many writers, particularly new ones, suck the life from a novel. 
    Most experienced writers I know have a set way of writing/editing/revising a novel, and if they suck the life out, it’s because there wasn’t much life there to begin with. 
    Now, editors do not always see things that need to be changed, but an editor’s job is to look for ways to improve a novel, so any good editor will usually make suggestions he thinks will be an improvement.  This doesn’t mean he’s right, or even that he expects these changes to be made.  He often does not.
    Barring a novel with serious problems that won’t be purchased unless/until a rewrite or revision is done, a novel that simply isn’t good enough to be published as is, editors simply look for ways to make a novel better, which most often just means tightening, and many a novel sails trhough the publication process with no real changes at all.
  • #398989

    Carmela Jones
    Participant

    Thank all of you, my question, and a couple more, was answered. I tend to go over shorts three, four, or five times. I was submitting a lot two to three years ago. Got a lot to rejections. Stopped submitting until recently, but I have resolved to clean out my vault. I am going over these old stories now, editing, revising, and rewriting. I can see, in most cases, why they were originally rejected. So far, I have three shorts in play, after today. I have several more in the vault, then I am going to start writing more. I want to sell a few shorts in hopes that selling one will help with the novel. But who knows, I may sell the novel before a short. As if that is likely. Hell, I may sell nothing and be left with a bunch of second rate stories and a novel with nowhere to go. Anyone want to buy a washed up fantasy novel?
    The novel I am going over for the first time after the first draft, to remove inconsistancies in the story flow. I am going to let it sit a week or so, then go over it again, revising, editing. Then, I think I will start submitting it.

  • #398990

    topdownguy
    Participant

    wondo – 2009-06-03 2:43 PM

    Thank all of you, my question, and a couple more, was answered. I tend to go over shorts three, four, or five times. I was submitting a lot two to three years ago. Got a lot to rejections. Stopped submitting until recently, but I have resolved to clean out my vault. I am going over these old stories now, editing, revising, and rewriting. I can see, in most cases, why they were originally rejected. So far, I have three shorts in play, after today. I have several more in the vault, then I am going to start writing more. I want to sell a few shorts in hopes that selling one will help with the novel. But who knows, I may sell the novel before a short. As if that is likely. Hell, I may sell nothing and be left with a bunch of second rate stories and a novel with nowhere to go. Anyone want to buy a washed up fantasy novel?
    The novel I am going over for the first time after the first draft, to remove inconsistancies in the story flow. I am going to let it sit a week or so, then go over it again, revising, editing. Then, I think I will start submitting it.

    Once again you and I are in the same boat, wondo. I only have a few short stories, and I work in spurts of sending them out, getting rejections and stopping for a while. I really should be more consistent. I often go back to them, and tweak them a little (not usually a full revision, but more like a tweak of adding or removing a pinch of this and a dash of that). During the periods that I’m not sending out shorts, I do usually work on longer works.

  • #398991

    topdownguy
    Participant

    wondo – 2009-06-03 2:43 PM

    Thank all of you, my question, and a couple more, was answered. I tend to go over shorts three, four, or five times. I was submitting a lot two to three years ago. Got a lot to rejections. Stopped submitting until recently, but I have resolved to clean out my vault. I am going over these old stories now, editing, revising, and rewriting. I can see, in most cases, why they were originally rejected. So far, I have three shorts in play, after today. I have several more in the vault, then I am going to start writing more. I want to sell a few shorts in hopes that selling one will help with the novel. But who knows, I may sell the novel before a short. As if that is likely. Hell, I may sell nothing and be left with a bunch of second rate stories and a novel with nowhere to go. Anyone want to buy a washed up fantasy novel?
    The novel I am going over for the first time after the first draft, to remove inconsistancies in the story flow. I am going to let it sit a week or so, then go over it again, revising, editing. Then, I think I will start submitting it.

    Once again you and I are in the same boat, wondo. I only have a few short stories, and I work in spurts of sending them out, getting rejections and stopping for a while. I really should be more consistent. I often go back to them, and tweak them a little (not usually a full revision, but more like a tweak of adding or removing a pinch of this and a dash of that). During the periods that I’m not sending out shorts, I do usually work on longer works.

  • #398992

    rhiga
    Participant

    Hello all, please critique style and punctuation or anything else you see fit. I had a limit of 600 words. Thanks in advance.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Her shoes told the story. They twisted at the sides and matched the grimace on her face as she stood waiting for the bus. The wrinkled leather reminded me of my grandmother’s hands and they screamed in agony as she shifted uneasily from one skeletal leg to the other. Squinting due to the piercing rays of the overheated sun, she looked at her equally tattered watch yet another time; she was obviously in a hurry.

    Finally the bus arrived and she forced her malnourished frame between two plump women who where desperately trying to enter the crowded bus. Another grimace gripped her face, but halted just below her forehead; this time she seemed slightly relaxed. Within fifteen minutes, the bus screeched to a halt and she landed on the pavement with shaky legs, but seemed sure of her destination. She turned sharply and crossed the busy road, skillfully weaving through peak hour traffic as vehicles crawled helplessly along the road. She did not seem to feel the bag that dug into her side as she hurriedly passed a man who was laden with plastic bags, neither did she acknowledge the woman who screamed expletives at her, because she accidentally stepped on her toe.

    She looked at her watch again and a sigh escaped her mouth just before she pushed the heavy double doors open. Her eyes roamed the room and quickly passed over the anxious faces, but landed sharply on an over-sized woman sitting at an untidy desk with a phone between her hefty shoulders and round head.

    “Good evening” she said, her voice filled with anxiety. “I am here to visit Mrs. Robertson”

    The woman looked at her annoyingly, replaced the telephone into the receiver and glanced at the clock on the opposite side of the room before replying in a tone suited for a child.

    “Visiting hours is almost up, but you have ten minutes”

    As she walked down the train- like corridor, the smell of bleach and disinfectant assaulted her nose. The white walls made her feel unclean and contrasted against her very dark skin. She had not been in a hospital since her father died when she was only ten and now fifteen years later, she was back again; this time to see someone she had never met. She was nervous about this meeting, but grateful that someone had searched for her to tell her the news.

    She pushed the door to the room open and instantly she pulled back. Sweat ran down her face like a stream and fear gripped her insides as her stomach tightened like a fist.

    “Who is there?” a feeble voice in an American accent called out.

    She pushed the door open again, but this time she faced the woman who was lying on the bed with white sheets up to her neck. She looked about eighty years old and seemed dangerously ill with tubes attached to her arms and face. She searched her face for some resemblance and beyond the wrinkles she could see her father’s broad nose and sharp cheek bones.

    “Is that you Sheryl?” Mrs. Robertson asked.

    “Yes grandma, it is me.” Sheryl replied nervously.

    “Thank God I get to see you before I die. Come and give me a hug.”

    Sheryl hugged her grandmother for the first time, but she felt strangely connected to her. Her father always spoke about his mother who lived in the United States of America, but she never got a chance to meet her before he died. Sheryl was the product of an extra marital affair and as such did not know her father’s family.

    As she left the hospital, her mind was a racetrack, as she tried to assimilate all that had happened. She tightened her grip on the keys her grandmother placed in her hands and suddenly the world seemed brighter. She no longer felt like the forgotten child as she headed in the direction of her new home. For once, she yearned for the rest of her life, rather than dreading a new dawn.

  • #398993

    great reader
    Participant

    An interesting story. You laid out the story into a very easy reading format. There are some areas of description that could have been approached differently. For instance …They twisted at the sides…. (I could not get a visual image of shoes twisted at the sides) also ……over heated sun… (everyone knows the sun is hot, so how can you over heat it?) Just a few thoughts.

  • #398994

    PBBWriter
    Participant

    sydoney – 2011-07-02 9:28 AM Hello all, please critique style and punctuation or anything else you see fit. I had a limit of 600 words. Thanks in advance. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Her shoes told the story. They twisted at the sides and matched the grimace on her face as she stood waiting for the bus. The wrinkled leather reminded me of my grandmother’s hands and they screamed in agony as she shifted uneasily from one skeletal leg to the other. Squinting due to the piercing rays of the overheated sun, she looked at her equally tattered watch yet another time; she was obviously in a hurry. [Beautiful opener, however, the underlined sentence tripped me up a bit only because it led me to believe it was your grandmother’s hands screaming in agony and also made me think it was grandma shifting from one skeletal leg. 🙂 ]

    Finally the bus arrived and she forced her malnourished frame between two plump women who where desperately trying to enter the crowded bus. Another grimace gripped her face, but halted just below her forehead; this time she seemed slightly relaxed. Within fifteen minutes, the bus screeched to a halt and she landed on the pavement with shaky legs, but seemed sure of her destination. She turned sharply and crossed the busy road, skillfully weaving through peak hour traffic as vehicles crawled helplessly along the road . She did not seem to feel the bag [is this her book bag or something? I think you could take the opportunity to distinguish this bag from the man’s plastic bags :)] that dug into her side as she hurriedly passed a man who was laden with plastic bags, neither did she acknowledge the woman who screamed expletives at her, because she accidentally stepped on her toe.

    She looked at her watch again and a sigh escaped her mouth just before she pushed the heavy double doors open. Her eyes roamed the room and quickly passed over the anxious faces, but landed sharply on an over-sized woman sitting at an untidy desk with a phone between her hefty shoulders and round head.

    “Good evening” she said, her voice filled with anxiety . “I am here to visit Mrs. Robertson”

    The woman looked at her annoyingly , replaced the telephone into the receiver and glanced at the clock on the opposite side of the room before replying in a tone suited for a child.

    “Visiting hours is almost up, but you have ten minutes”

    As she walked down the train- like corridor, the smell of bleach and disinfectant assaulted her nose. The white walls made her feel unclean and contrasted against her very dark skin. She had not been in a hospital since her father died when she was only ten and now fifteen years later, she was back again; this time to see someone she had never met. She was nervous about this meeting, but grateful that someone had searched for her to tell her the news.

    She pushed the door to the room open and instantly she pulled back. Sweat ran down her face like a stream and fear gripped her insides as her stomach tightened like a fist.

    “Who is there?” a feeble voice in an American accent called out.

    She pushed the door open again, but this time she faced the woman who was lying on the bed with white sheets up to her neck . She looked about eighty years old and seemed dangerously ill with tubes attached to her arms and face. She searched her face for some resemblance and beyond the wrinkles she could see her father’s broad nose and sharp cheek bones.

    “Is that you Sheryl?” Mrs. Robertson asked.

    “Yes grandma, it is me.” Sheryl replied nervously.

    “Thank God I get to see you before I die. Come and give me a hug.”

    Sheryl hugged her grandmother for the first time, but she felt strangely connected to her. Her father always spoke about his mother who lived in the United States of America, but she never got a chance to meet her before he died. Sheryl was the product of an extra marital affair and as such did not know her father’s family.

    As she left the hospital, her mind was a racetrack, as she tried to assimilate all that had happened. She tightened her grip on the keys her grandmother placed in her hands and suddenly the world seemed brighter. She no longer felt like the forgotten child as she headed in the direction of her new home. For once, she yearned for the rest of her life, rather than dreading a new dawn.

    Hi sydoney 🙂

    I enjoyed reading this. I provided some comments as I went along, just some friendly suggestions for you to review and/or reject 🙂

    I hope you have a great day :emoticon:

    Kelly

  • #398995

    rhiga
    Participant

    Thank you Nedlo! I was trying to indicate the extreme heat of the sun – like an hyperbole?

    Kelly, I appreciate your suggestions; thanks for taking the time to do this 🙂

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