This is topic Overfishing in Coastal Maine in forum Fragments and Feedback for Short Works at Hatrack River Writers Workshop.

To visit this topic, use this URL:;f=11;t=004379

Posted by OliverBuckram (Member # 9655) on :
From a 770 word science fiction story I would be happy to send you.

While Hurd waited for the paint to dry, a green porta-potty materialized in his driveway. He looked at it for a moment, shook his head, and threw the paintbrush at it. The brush passed right through the porta-potty and onto the driveway. Another damn hallucination.

Using house paint, Hurd had written "Stuck with a Ford Lemon" in big white letters on the Explorer’s windshield. That should get some attention. Every day for weeks he had hand-written a complaint letter to the CEO of Ford Motor, demanding a replacement SUV. But he had received no reply.

After a breakfast of canned tuna (his only remaining food), he put the Explorer in neutral and coasted down his driveway. He parked it right on Route 1, where every

[ November 07, 2011, 01:08 PM: Message edited by: OliverBuckram ]
Posted by babooher (Member # 8617) on :
My first thoughts are that this doesn't read like sci-fi so I'm worried about how you'll get the sci-fi in without it being a trick.

Some nits: I think the last line if the second paragraph shouldn't have a pronoun. The last person mentioned is the CEO of Ford Motor so that could be misconstrued as the pronoun's antecedent. Using Hurd instead of he requires no extra words and completely eliminates the possible confusion.

I suppose at only 770 words, I could read it.
Posted by History (Member # 9213) on :
I personally like subtle sf/fantasy, or a slow emersion (immersion) from "our" world into something outre. Thus, I'm interested in seeing where this goes. Feel free to email it to me.

Dr. Bob

P.S. Of peculiar interest, I note that you live in Boston and are writing about "coastal Maine"; while I live in coastal Maine and most of my recent stories (and novel) take place in Boston. [Smile]
Posted by Dame (Member # 8513) on :
Hi Oliver,

"Using house paint, Hurd had written "Stuck with a Ford Lemon" in big white letters on the Explorer’s windshield." Because of the porta potty, I had forgotten he was waiting for paint to dry.

(Love the porta potty BTW. This opening felt sufficiently spec-fic to me.)

Because I had forgotten the paint, I had to take it back on board along with the suddenly appearing car. Do you think you could say, "While Hurd waited for the paint to dry on the Explorer's windsheild..."? If not, you may have to introduce the Explorer a little more gently. It threw me while I scrambled around trying to work out what was happening.

The first direct action seems to be, "he put the Explorer in neutral and coasted down his driveway." I suggest you get the action happening from the start. Why not have him paint the words, see the potty and eat his breakfast, without the time-shimmy you use in the second para? I don't think it would take many more words, and would feel more direct right from the start.

I get the feeling this is an apocalypse story, perhaps even a zombie tale. I like the action (though it is described rather than shown) and the tone and ideas. I do think you could perhaps make the whole intro more intense and vivid by doing it in real-time.

Hope some of this is useful.

Posted by Denevius (Member # 9682) on :
770 words is pretty short. either way, if you're looking for volunteers, i'm willing to read it. these 13 lines created interest as to where the story, as well as the main character, is heading.
Posted by Architectus (Member # 8809) on :
I think it would work better if you wrote the events in order, starting with paragraph two.

So basically reverse paragraph 1 and 2. Then start paragraph one without "had" in it.

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2