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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » The Last Day Of Autumn

   
Author Topic: The Last Day Of Autumn
ChrisOwens
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OK, I've scrapped the narritive summary and am trying a different opening...
--------------------------------------------------
The next morning, Scott lugged their suitcases to the car. Lyn followed with a duffle bag. He closed the trunk and found Aunt Flora had come to see them off.

Flora pulled him closed. “You’re just like your Grandpa. You know that? Just like him. More than your Dad. More than your cousins.”

“Thanks...” Scott patted her on the back, not knowing what else do to.

“You’re all that’s left of him now. You carry him on...” Her body began to quiver. “I— I don’t know why I did it— I didn’t mean to hurt you...”

“You’ve never hurt me,” Scott said. He figured the grief had gotten to her. Grief and worry over the debt that loomed over the family. “Don’t worry. I’ll make it right again...”

“You don’t know how much I want to believe that.” She hugged Lyn and then withdrew to the house.


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Phanto
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Information overload.

3 sentences, 3 people. -- The next morning, Scott lugged their suitcases to the car. Lyn followed with a duffle bag. He closed the trunk and found Aunt Flora had come to see them off.

Flora pulled him closed. “You’re just like your Grandpa. You know that? Just like him. More than your Dad. More than your cousins.”

9 sentences, 6 people (cousins counted as one "unit person".)

There are other issues.

[quote]Flora pulled him closed.

Makes 0 sense.

Ending of opening works much better, almost overcomes inital problems. The question of what happened and why the suffering is a tempting one.


Good luck.



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AeroB1033
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Too much melodrama without context, in my opinion. And Phanto is right about the information overload. But what really causes me to withdraw from this piece is that the emotion in it is so raw that it's almost embarrasing to read.

Clarity would be a big help here--at least we'd know why the raw emotion was present--but I'd also suggest considering ways to tone down the melodrama a little bit. I'd be uncomfortable seeing a scene like this in real life, and I'm uncomfortable reading about it. It distances me from the story and the characters.


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theokaluza
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quote:
The next morning, Scott lugged their suitcases to the car. Lyn followed with a duffle bag. He closed the trunk and found Aunt Flora had come to see them off.
Save Aunt Flora for a couple of paragraphs later. "The next morning" kind of came out of no where. Is this page one, chapter one? Or is it page one, chapter two? If it's the former, I'd suggest changing the first line to something like "It was morning, and Scott was lugging the family's suitcases to the car."
quote:
Flora pulled him closed. “You’re just like your Grandpa. You know that? Just like him. More than your Dad. More than your cousins.”
I like this, because it shows all sorts of stuff. I disagree with the comments before mine, that it's information overload. This is good characterization, or at least the beginning of good characterization.

As for the rest of it, I didn't have a hard time reading it at all. Maybe I'm a-typical, but it all worked for me. It wasn't too melodramatic or too emotional. It was like an extremely emotional moment between two family members who are obviously very comfortable with each other.

Anyhow, good show. But you've got some problems.


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ChrisOwens
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Thanks.
This looks to be a Chapter 4.

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J
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<He figured the grief had gotten to her. Grief and worry over the debt that loomed over the family.>

This could be tighter. In my opinion, information like this comes across more powerfully when it is implied rather than shown or stated. For example, if Scott thought a bitter thought about money, or the decision that caused the debt or something like that as he hugs Flora, I'd pick up why Flora was overwrought without the info dump.

<"Don’t worry. I’ll make it right again..."
"You don’t know how much I want to believe that."” She hugged Lyn and then withdrew to the house.>

I thought that this dialogue was cheesy. Which is fine if these characters are the sorts that would be cheesy in these circumstances.

On the other hand, I'm kind of crogedy, so don't take my word for it.


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ChrisOwens
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What is a crogedy?
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J
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It's my favorite misspelling of crotchety.
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77chevy
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I agree with the early comments, especially AeroB1033's. There is high melodrama going on here and there are so many people I don't know that I just don't care. It's like OSC's car chase without context. It's just a lot of motion that doesn't matter. Add to that the fact that the situation is a bit stereotypical, and I think this story would be cast aside by editors.

Maybe you are starting the story in the wrong place. Make us care about at least one or two of the characters while still getting us interested (which you DO start to do toward the end)


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ChrisOwens
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Would it matter if I said this was a Chapter 4?
Probably not.

[This message has been edited by ChrisOwens (edited February 28, 2005).]


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wbriggs
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I don't have a problem with the # of chars because 2 have clearly identified roles (mom & dad), Lyn is a wife I think, and it's all about Scott & Aunt Flora.

My big problem is I don't have any idea what they're talking about.

There's suffering here, but not conflict. Maybe there was earlier. I can't critique this well w/o knowing what came before.


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