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Author Topic: You don't know Jack
JASU
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“Let’s see,” I said with a catch in my throat. “What can I say about Jack? Well, he was my father. He adopted me when I was young.” Then there was a long awkward pause. I wiped away a tear and sniffed. This was going to be an agonizing speech. I volunteered to give this eulogy, I felt that I owed it to Jack and now I was butchering it beyond belief. Of course he was my father. What a dope I was. I took a deep breath and got ready to spill some more useless facts. You would have thought that a fourteen year old girl could have said something profound, but no, not me. “Um,” I said and then paused. I knew everyone was thinking that I must be both illiterate and stupid. You can only imagine what a relief it was when the double church doors opened and revealed some unexpected visitors. That’s when it all came back to me.

Only about 5,000 into this one.
This story will be for young adults. It tells of this girl's life in the 80's but also contains stories about the Korean and Vietnam War. Please let me know if it stirs the urge to turn the page. I have trimmed down the opening, hope it still has a hook.


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Garlic Coachman
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Hi JASU, thanks again for the warm welcome.

Your first 13 did not grab me. From my experience, a 14 year old girl is usually full of churning emotions. She is still trying to get use to her boobs, zits, hormones, periods, and her friends have the only opinions that matter. Remember how intence you reacted to things and very, very important somethings were then that you laugh about now? Almost everything is still possible and life is still black and white. They are also always emphasizing how they aren't kids anymore. The MC voice simply does not "sound" right.

Depending on which side of the "tubular" 80's this is happening, you might want to look up some of the lingo just to clinch the tone.


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honu
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I'm going to agree with the voice issue...I like, totally pictured a dude till you told me it was a girl// what can you do in the first couple sentences to change that? I brushed down on my black dress kinda thingie?
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Rob Roy
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IMHO, all it needs is a few simple, cosmetic changes to sort out the "voice" issue. Have her hem and haw a little more. Try something like this:

“Umm, let’s see,” I said with a catch in my throat. “What can I say about Jack? Well, he was my daddy."

Ard-choille,
Rob Roy


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JASU
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Thanks, I love the suggestions. They all make sense, and I will work on it.
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Dogmatic
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Hi,
I also felt the sentence structure was a bit terse. A lot of short sentences that put me into a rhythm as I read. This may have been an artistic choice on your part to stress the nerves of the character but for me it shut down the flow of the piece. A friend read it and said that part didn't bother her but she did agree with the other posts.

And thanks for sharing your story with us.


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