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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » Dream Job rewrite

   
Author Topic: Dream Job rewrite
EVOC
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I decided to go in a different direction with the opening of this story. In fact, I have dropped the white room in the next scene and it will now be a hospital room. Again, if anyone want to read the whole story let me know.

______

“Damn it, Jon! I can’t just wait around for you to show up whenever you want! I have to get back to work on time.” Samantha yelled into her phone as she slipped out the door to escape the embarrassing watchful eyes of the diner patrons. “You are always late to our lunch dates, and I am tired of the excuses.”
Samantha looked down at her phone as she disconnected the call and stepped off the curb. The sound of screeching tires, followed by a loud horn frightened her. She spun around in the direction of the sound. She froze in terror. As the car hit her body, she could feel her body give to the force of the metal machine. She could hear the sounds of metal and flesh meeting, feel the unbearable pain, and then complete darkness.


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Wordcaster
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Evoc,

Not bad writing... I'm still wondering if this is the right place to start. The scene is quite short and I wonder if you can start later in the story, after the accident, after she wakes, and when the main action or premise of the story begins.

Without knowing the story it is difficult to judge.

I don't mind stories that start off with dialogue, but I think for this scene, it is not the focus of the action and perhaps you could maximize your hook with more description of the world around her (thus eliminating the dialogue).

Prose and sentence flow works for me to want to continue reading.

[This message has been edited by Wordcaster (edited January 21, 2011).]


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Smiley
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Yeah... The scene tells me that a girl steps out of a restaurant and gets hit my a car. I hate sounding callous, but that happens a lot. Why should I, as the reader, care about that. Why should I keep reading, just to find out if she survives? Sounds like a long, drawn out recovery time coming up. I think I'll chose another book.

Most readers tend to look for the hook on the first two or three paragraphs before committing to a book. I know I do. If I don't find one - especially if it's a short work - I put it down and look for another.

So, work into your story why we should be interested in a bad breakup and a car accident. Why is she special? Is there a man in black ready to scoop up her broken body and make her into a cyborg to fight crime and injustice? Let us in on it.

Just my opinion. Use it or not. That's what I'm here for.


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Reziac
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I agree with Smiley... it's tragic but not interesting, at least not yet. What is unusual about a girl being hit by a car? If you're going to start with something fairly mundane, it needs a hint that something unusual is coming up.

Maybe have her be hit by a flying saucer. <g>

Side note, beware of constructions like "she could hear this, and feel this" -- they tend to be passive and distance us from the character. Try something more like "metal crunched into flesh, then pain drove her into darkness."


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EVOC
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Waking up in white room was not working, for reasons most of you were correct about.

This intro explains how she got into the white room. But I find this is far less interesting then the original intro. So I am not sure where to go with an intro.

Perhaps I have to shelf this one for a while.

Was everyone's first attempt at a short work so hard?


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Wordcaster
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I'd just write the story from where you're at. You would ridicule me if you read my first short stories. Starting and restarting and restarting again without finishing is counterproductive to the writing process.

Now, only half of the hatrackers ridicule me

(Or if you wrote a synopsis, you'd probably get suggestions for starting points)


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Smiley
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quote:
Was everyone's first attempt at a short work so hard?

Nah, some people here are super geniuses. LOL

Seriously, you're writing pretty decently now. You just have to understand a few more things to get it right.

Around here we place an emphasis on 'The Hook', (pulling the reader into your story) especially on a short story. We do that based on how our favorite books do it and how most successful short stories are done. Well, okay, all successful stories are done that way.

So you just have to write the interesting 'hook' in the beginning so that the reader will ask questions to themselves. Like, how did that happen, or I wonder if that's even possible. Things like that, although there are a million other things that could be asked. Basically, write the reason you want to tell the story. What makes it interesting to you. Why people will sit back and say, hey, this just might be an interesting book, or, Wow, this is awesome!

Yeah I'm still working on that one. But I hope you get what I'm trying to say. Good luck and don't give up. It'll come.


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Reziac
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I'd say go ahead and write it. At some point you'll discover where the story really starts, from the perspective of interest to the reader.

It might be well forward, such as some point where she's struggling with the aftermath of the healing process.


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EVOC
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The story has been written twice now. I like this version but I hope to get a good start to it. As a never published author, I want a hook that draws in an editor long enough to like my story. Here is the synopsis of this story:

The MC winds up in the hospital and gets questioned by a government agent about Jon's activities. Due to her drug induced state is not sure it ever really happened. While trying to find out what happened she loses her job because she breaks a company rule. In the end she winds up working for the government.

Please don't msunderstand my frustration, I appreciate the suggestions. I need the outside eyes to ensure I convey what I want my story to tell.


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Corky
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So how about starting the story with the government agent asking her questions about Jon?
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Corky
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A story should start when the main character becomes involved with the problem. If the problem is that her boyfriend is doing something he shouldn't be doing, then shouldn't the story start when she finds out he's doing things that are making problems for her?
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cborgia
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What's the etiquette here about reading whole stories?
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EVOC
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My understanding is it is done on a volunteer basis when an Author chooses to share and a reader volunteers. But I am still new here so maybe some can explain better than I.

I know they are exchanged by email.


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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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quote:
What's the etiquette here about reading whole stories?

If this topic doesn't answer your question for you, please feel free to ask in more detail.


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EVOC
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Alright, so after two openings I was not happy with and some great advise from you all I have a third opening. I was struggling with this story's opening so I started pouring though my piles of story idea notes. One of them triggered an idea for this opening. So I just fired it out. I am really happy with this one, unlike the other two. I need critiques to refine it. And again, if you want to read the whole story let me know.

_____

The door erupted in the explosion devouring the six security locks. A small metal canister flew from the freshly made opening in the door. Samantha jumped from the couch as it bounced off the floor once, twice- BANG! A blinding flash of orange light followed the sound. Samantha clutched her face, falling to her knees in disorientation.
If anyone said anything she could not hear it over the ringing in her ears. Two sets of arms took a strong hold of her arms and pulled her up. In the blur of her clearing eyesight she could make out the heavily equipped men in uniform that were dragging her. Police! She had not done anything wrong, had she?


[This message has been edited by EVOC for typos (edited January 28, 2011).]

[This message has been edited by EVOC (edited January 28, 2011).]


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Wordcaster
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Well, you definitely started with action!

Third time's a charm. Couple grammar nits (e.g. typo on "once," sentence starting with "in her blur..." is a tad awkward with a misplaced comma) but otherwise compelling start.

Now go finish your story!


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EVOC
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I changed those typos, thanks.

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Reziac
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Okay, this one sounds like it definitely starts when the story starts... when the world goes BANG (literally!) on the protagonist.

I'd probably do some rearranging to tighten things up, but this one does jump into action and mystery, and keeps the action pretty much in realtime; much more involving this way.


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Smiley
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Bravo!
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Corky
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A few nits/suggestions:

quote:
Two sets of arms took a strong hold of her arms and pulled her up. In her blur of her clearing eyesight she could make out the heavily equipped, men in uniform that were dragging her.

I'd change "Two sets of arms" to "Two sets of hands" (more accurate, and avoids have "arms" twice so close in the sentence).

And I'd change "she could make out the heavily equipped men in uniform that were dragging" to something like "she could tell that heavily equipped and uniformed men were dragging...."

Otherwise a good, action-packed start.

Reminds me of a recommendation from some writer or another (and I'm having to paraphrase, because I can't find the quote online): "If you don't know what to do next in a story, have two men burst through the door with guns blazing."

It's a good hook, now keep writing.

[This message has been edited by Corky (edited January 28, 2011).]


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