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Thread: Subject short story competition

  1. #46
    Maybe YesNo's Avatar
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    We had some large flooding in Louisiana recently that your story reminded me of. I think you captured well the fear involved under such circumstances as well as the different perspectives of the people involved. I assumed it wasn't a happy ending for everyone. I wonder if those people on the bus got to safety.

    My only suggestion for improving it is to add blank lines between the paragraphs since indenting isn't easy to do on these pages. That would make the format easier to read.

  2. #47
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    That must habe been terrible too. What makes it worse here, is that the houses in some districts are very precarious. They are usually badly build and badly distributed on the hillsides and very often they slide down, producing hundreds of homeless people. The people on the top of the buses use to be saved. But people die when the houses slide down or because they are carried by the flood.
    "You can always find something better than death."
    Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, The Bremen Town Musicians

  3. #48
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    Done. It really looks better now. I am glad the English doesnīt sound too foreign.

    I am going to propose a new theme, letīs see if anything happens.
    Write a narrative of maximal 1000 words about a personal recollection or a short story related to religion.

    PS-Remember that all faiths are represented in this community.
    "You can always find something better than death."
    Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, The Bremen Town Musicians

  4. #49
    Maybe YesNo's Avatar
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    Yes, it is easier to read. I'll try to come up with something by this weekend on the new theme.

  5. #50
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    Great, Yes/No. Iīm looking forward to it.
    "You can always find something better than death."
    Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, The Bremen Town Musicians

  6. #51
    Maybe YesNo's Avatar
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    The Messages

    That morning when Matthew went to the kitchen of the old farm house to make breakfast, he saw Aunt Joan on the other side of the room, his scary aunt, the one who took care of him for a year while he was in second grade because she lived in town so he could walk to school giving his parents time to sort out what parents needed to sort out. Even at that young age he could tell his aunt didn’t really want him interrupting her life although his younger brother told him years later that it was Aunt Joan who suggested the arrangement.

    The last he heard, which wasn’t recently, Aunt Joan was living in Phoenix where the weather was hot and the dry, desert air was better for her. He was in Maine and this late Autumn morning was cold. By evening there would be an accumulation of snow that would stay until Spring.

    His aunt and his parents had fought over something years ago, but no one told Matthew what it was about. He just knew they stopped meeting at her home for parties almost a decade ago and a few years later she moved to Arizona. His younger brother who paid more attention to technical adult affairs as he grew up, because he was the one who asked more questions, thought it had to do with an inheritance matter and he even had ideas about who was at fault. Matthew didn’t care. Now in his twenties he only remembered being glad when his parents were able to take him back.

    Matthew didn’t know what to do with Aunt Joan. She looked unhappy, but all that he could imagine that would make her unhappy happened very long ago and now that he was more or less an adult, he understood her side better. He wouldn’t want to take care of an eight year old either. All he could think of saying was, “It’s OK.” She looked happier after hearing that or maybe he wanted her to be happier after he said that. She came a long way and she didn’t have to. If nothing else, he wanted her to know, since he just realized it, that he was thankful it was her who took care of him that strange year.

    Later that morning Matthew’s mother called. “Your Aunt Joan died in Phoenix early this morning.”

    “Yes. She said she was sorry.”
    Last edited by YesNo; 09-02-2016 at 09:59 AM. Reason: changes based on Danik's recommendations

  7. #52
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    I enjoyed your story very much, specially in the subtle way it linked the themes "family" and "religion". Indeed it is about "understanding and forgiving", ideas that are superior to particular religions. You also are very much at home in reproducing that complex atmosphere of family feelings with its secrets and its silences.And Aunt Joan is an interesting character.
    That said, here are some edditing suggestions that might improve the story.
    In the first paragraph the appearance of "Aunt Joan", the climax of the story (even if the reader doesnīt know it yet) could be more emphasised.
    My suggestion:
    I would leave out the first long sentence and start with something like:
    " That morning when Matthew went to the kitchen of the old farm house to make breakfast, he saw...."

    I would finish the story with the dialogue lines, without any explanation:
    “Yes. She said she was sorry.”

    And I didnīt quite understand why the title is in the plural form. For me there is one important message.

    Anyway, please donīt get angry at my suggestions. The aim is to better whatīs already good.
    "You can always find something better than death."
    Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, The Bremen Town Musicians

  8. #53
    Maybe YesNo's Avatar
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    I liked your suggestions and made the changes. I also make a note in my Google Doc of this story noting your contribution. I was trying to include the notion of coming to a "conclusion", but it was strained.

    I've told this story before since I am still trying to make sense out of my aunt's appearance. There are two messages. One was my message to her that "It's OK" and the other was her message, probably not for me as much as for my parents, about her being sorry. Of course, I thought it was all about me, but I realized in writing this that other people were involved and I may have failed in my task to deliver her message to the intended recipients.

    Most the story is true except for the last sentence. I did not actually tell my parents what she said. My excuse was I did not, at the time, think the message was for them and I did not want them to think negatively of my aunt.

    Thanks for reading and for the suggestions!

  9. #54
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    Thanks, Yes/No. Thatīs an amazing story! I had the impression it might be based on a true experience. Itīs much easier to understand now.What perhaps might become clearer in the story is the message of your aunt. In the story she doesnīt say anything, but just looks sad.

    On rereading the story, a last suggestion: I would reproduce Aunt Joan saying the words "I am sorry" and finish with the words of Mattheu's mother. Itīs more effective, because only then your reader will know that that the student had seen the spirit of his aunt.
    Last edited by Danik 2016; 09-02-2016 at 01:54 PM.
    "You can always find something better than death."
    Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, The Bremen Town Musicians

  10. #55
    Maybe YesNo's Avatar
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    I suppose the two messages should be made clearer. I am coming up with another version that I will post separately tomorrow. The aunt needs to say something as you suggest.

    I am also hoping to see another story by you or anyone else who wants to add a story.

  11. #56
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    Itīs much clearer than it was before. You usually write very clearly, but as Aunt Joan is the product of a personal experience, maybe she was a bit jumbled in with emotional issues.

    If I can think of a story Iīll write it.
    Last edited by Danik 2016; 09-03-2016 at 10:34 PM.
    "You can always find something better than death."
    Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, The Bremen Town Musicians

  12. #57
    Maybe YesNo's Avatar
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    Thanks. If this thread does nothing else it will give both of us stories we can use later.

    I am planning to enclose the story within a slightly larger story.

  13. #58
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    That would be quite more than I iniatially expected from it. Take all the time you need Yes/Noto shape your story there is no deadline.
    Last edited by Danik 2016; 09-15-2016 at 07:49 AM.
    "You can always find something better than death."
    Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, The Bremen Town Musicians

  14. #59
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    I have been thinking of transforming this thread in a kind of laboratory for posting and editing short fiction but I found out that I canīt edit the title or the first post any more.
    "You can always find something better than death."
    Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, The Bremen Town Musicians

  15. #60
    The Gnu Normal Pompey Bum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danik 2016 View Post
    I have been thinking of transforming this thread in a kind of laboratory for posting and editing short fiction but I found out that I canīt edit the title or the first post any more.
    You could always start a new thread.
    And this from a man in a bunny suit.

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