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. â€śYouâ€™re just like your Grandpa. You know that? Just like him. More than your Dad. More than your cousins.â€ť
â€śThanks...â€ť Scott patted her on the back, not knowing what else do to.
â€śYouâ€™re all thatâ€™s left of him now. You carry him on...â€ť Her body began to quiver. â€śIâ€” I donâ€™t know why I did itâ€” I didnâ€™t mean to hurt you...â€ť
â€śYouâ€™ve never hurt me,â€ť Scott said. He figured the grief had gotten to her. Grief and worry over the debt that loomed over the family. â€śDonâ€™t worry. Iâ€™ll make it right again...â€ť
â€śYou donâ€™t know how much I want to believe that.â€ť She hugged Lyn and then withdrew to the house.
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.
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. â€śYouâ€™re just like your Grandpa. You know that? Just like him. More than your Dad. More than your cousins.â€ť
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.
<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.
<"Donâ€™t worry. Iâ€™ll make it right again..." "You donâ€™t know how much I want to believe that."â€ť 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.
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)