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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » A Story's A Story No Matter How Small

   
Author Topic: A Story's A Story No Matter How Small
SR Dev
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A Story's A Story No Matter How Small
(Except When It's Just Not A Story At All)

1,200 Speculative Fiction. Humor.

“How long have you been expecting, Mr. Bartles?”

I shift on the examining table, uncomfortable in just my boxers. The papery hospital gown chafes against my thighs. My head pounds. “Three months.”

Dr. Ditore nods once and swivels her metal stool to face the screen displaying my chart. “This is your first abortion?”

“Yes.” I close my eyes, half because I can't handle her professional-grade pity, and half because of the florescent lights of the clinic room.

Clack, clack, clack, go her nails against the keyboard.

I ignore the pain playing the inside of my skull like a steel drum.

“Have you titled it?” she asks.

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RyanB
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I love it. Nothing else to say but that.
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SR Dev
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I'm looking for someone to read it and give feedback, especially on spelling, grammar and if the jokes work. Interested?
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Grumpy old guy
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I'll give it a go. But, after my last foray on your writing you may politely decline. I won't mind.

Phil.

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SR Dev
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No, not at all! A good critique never hurt anybody. [Smile]
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RyanB
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Sure, send it over.
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LDWriter2
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I checked out the story--or opening that is--because of the header.
I was expecting something under 500 words with that header. [Smile] 1200 isn't all that short.

But as to the opening not bad at all, very good. You introduce the MC, show the unique problem, and have every humans sense except for taste.

I'm in the middle of a bunch of crits now so I rather not do it but if the rest of the story is like this you may not need much help.

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extrinsic
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While cleverly arranged, this opening signals to me a joke ending at readers' expense. Every writer is entitled to one in a lifetime and every reader ought to experience one in a lifetime. They don't work for me, though I suppose a collection of them could be used for modeling an analysis of their conventions.
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LDWriter2
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extrinsic may have a point

It would be normal to expect a punch line or humorous story with this opening. But I wouldn't be as harsh with my words. Since it is obvious it probably would be cut some slack.

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Grumpy old guy
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I've read the whole story and I didn't feel like I was the butt of the joke. I will get my crit to you asap, SR Dev, but things have gone a bit haywire for me recently.

Phil.

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Robert Nowall
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Like the title.
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SR Dev
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There is a bit of a punchline, but it's not so much a "trick". At least I don't think it is. The title refers to the Dr.Seuss quote a person's a person no matter how small, that has been co-opted by the pro-life movement. Although perhaps a better title.

A Story's A Story No Matter How Droll
Unless, of course, it's not a story at All

(yay, slant rhyme?)

Or maybe

A Story's A Story No Matter How Banal
Unless, of course, It's Not A Story At All

except for the problem with the guy's story isn't exactly that it's banal, but more that it's scattered and doesn't really have a plot.(The doctor asks him why he wrote it, and he said he wanted to express a feeling.)

No rush Phil. [Smile]

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mayflower988
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I definitely got the Dr. Seuss/pro-life reference. Especially the pro-life part, since the guy's about to have an "abortion."
Is the title "A Story's a Story No Matter How Small," or does the title include "Unless, of Course, it's Not a Story at All"?

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SR Dev
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It includes the bottom line, too.
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