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Thread: First Short Story ~ Feedback?

  1. #1
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    First Short Story ~ Feedback?

    Hello everyone,
    I've just written my first short story but I'm afraid I'm too timid to share it with any of my friends so I'm hoping for some feedback from others first. I'd appreciate any comments or suggestions!

    Thanks,
    Aphroena

    As I drove up the lane and pulled to a stop, my breath caught. I had grown up here, but things were different now. As he got out of the car, he smiled. It wasn’t the smile he’d first given after kissing me goodnight and it wasn’t the smile he’d beamed when I’d said yes, but it reassured me that he was ready.

    We walked up the path together, our steps in sync, but the moment we stepped inside I began to lose him. His eyes ricocheted around the room, going dizzy from the height of the ceiling, blurry from the light of the chandeliers and then suddenly still at the sight of my parents standing stiffly on the staircase. I grabbed his hand to bring him back, but part of him was already gone. The room stole the smile from his eyes and replaced it with a look of insecurity I was powerless to erase.

    Everything I had ever wanted I had been given, so it seemed odd that I should have to ask as I sat before them. But I saw in the way my mother stared at his hands as he took the white teacup, in the way my father asked about his ‘plans’ and in the way he grew more distant with each answer that he was the one thing that would not come easily.

    When he asked for the ring back, it wasn’t hard to take it off. His pain had loosened it and my tears had made it slippery. But as I took it from my finger, more than just stone and metal slipped away. And as the door closed behind him, so did I.

    As I walk into the house I can no longer bear, entering the room where I first began to lose him, I look from the top of the staircase down at the floor. The height makes me dizzy and the tears in my eyes blur the light from the chandeliers, but I know I’ll see him smile again soon.
    Last edited by Aphroena; 11-03-2009 at 07:34 PM.

  2. #2
    answers rhetorical ?'s
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    I think it is a good story. You definitely have your own voice, and to me the words flow well. It is definitely a very short story though! Keep it up, you have potential!

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    "His eyes ricocheted around the room, going dizzy from the height of the ceiling, blurry from the light of the chandeliers and then suddenly still"

    If the story is first person, you can't be omniscient. You probably don't know that he felt dizzy and his eyes were going blurry.

    "but I know I’ll see him smile again soon. "

    What do you mean you know you'll see him smile again soon? Are you guys still friends?
    Also, the last paragraph makes the chronology of the story questionable. Are you returning to your parents' house alone and looking back on the event when he left you?

  4. #4
    Registered User Steven Hunley's Avatar
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    Response to story

    There is a word for this kind of story. Wonderful. There's only one thing that bothers me about it. You say it's your very first one. Whoa! That shows a natural talent to write. I'd say the better writers on this site had better take note. They'e got some competition. What ever else you do in life, keep posting. We need to read such stuff. Oh, and the length was perfect, if a sentence is supposed to convey a complete thought, maybe a simple story might too.

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    Thanks minanamoue,

    I see your point. Do you think I should turn it all into 3rd person or should I stick with 1st and reword the descriptions of his reactions?

    I'll also try to make the last part a little clearer. My idea was that she was looking back on the event when she began to lose him (hence the repetition of emotions).

    Thanks again for your feedback!
    Last edited by Aphroena; 11-04-2009 at 12:51 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aphroena View Post
    Thanks minanamoue,

    I see your point. Do you think I should turn it all into 3rd person or should I stick with 1st and reword the descriptions of his reactions?

    I'll also try to make the last part a little clearer. My idea was that she was looking back on the event when she began to lose him (hence the repetition of emotions).

    Thanks again for your feedback!
    I'd say make your story a sandwich, the bread being her returning to the house, the filling being the flashback. There is no indication at the beginning that she is having a flashback.

    Third person is a great idea. That way you could describe more of BOTH of their thoughts, and maybe go into their relationship more.

    I do like the story, by the way.

  7. #7
    Registered User Sampson's Avatar
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    I like this. I did find the last couple of paragraphs a little confusing, but I felt you conveyed a sense that the persona was confused, so it worked. I think the end highlights the way she's seeing things going wrong for her.

    For the first short story you've written, this showcases some raw talent (in my humble opinion). You've got a sound style already, you just want to play about and see what you like best in terms of the nuances.

    Wicked stuff!

  8. #8
    Registered User lenryuka's Avatar
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    "But I saw in the way my mother stared at his hands as he took the white teacup, in the way my father asked about his ‘plans’ and in the way he grew more distant with each answer that he was the one thing that would not come easily."

    The last half of this sentence kind of choked. I think it'd be better if you cut this one down into two separate sentences.

    Otherwise, I like how you don't mention names, it gives the reader loads of room for interpretation.

  9. #9
    Registered User glover7's Avatar
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    I am definitely an advocate of writers' reading extensively not in order to emulate, but to see the brilliance you can achieve in your medium.

    Because your story is so short, I would recommend picking up a copy of Palm-of-the-Hand Stories by Yasunari Kawabata. His novels are rather dry, with the exception of Beauty and Sadness, but I feel that his message flourishes in these (very!) short pieces.

    You should take a look if you continue to work in the field of flash fiction. Or flash nonfiction.

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