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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » "The Ruination of Mr. Jiles"

   
Author Topic: "The Ruination of Mr. Jiles"
Bumbus_McGee
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This is er... strange fiction. It's currently a short story, but I was thinking of having a character, in the book I want to write, tell it. Let me know if it's at all... 'grabbing'.

A fish lies on the road. He basks in the light of the sun as he watches the field of
grass dance in front of him. He is suffocating. It had only been moments since he had,
quite unwillingly, left his barrel of a home. This trout could remember the garbled words
which preceded his abode’s untimely destruction: “By golly, Willard, I recon ya couldn’
hit a fish with that thar gun if der were a barrel full o’ em.”

“Well I recon we be findin’ out soon nuff!” Then was the click and the bang.

“Blasted mammals!” thought the fish, “I’ll get my revenge or my name is not Naralethitap P. Jiles!”

The fish, struggling to move, heard a sound, an unfamiliar sound. Before he could react --as if he could react-- he was introduced to the right front tire of a mustard yellow 1976 pinto. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Jiles became acquainted with the right rear tire. This sent him flying Northwest to the quarry. Sailing through the air, he thought, “need water… can’t breath… pain! Ow!” Naralethitap had struck the hard ground.

[This message has been edited by Bumbus_McGee (edited June 12, 2005).]

[This message has been edited by Bumbus_McGee (edited June 12, 2005).]

[This message has been edited by Bumbus_McGee (edited June 12, 2005).]

[This message has been edited by Bumbus_McGee (edited June 12, 2005).]


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Beth
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poor fish.

I found the shift in tense jarring, and I found the shift in pronoun in the 2nd sentence equally jarring. In fact, I was so jarred that I refused to allow myself to be grabbed by the rest, and perhaps saw more problems in the subsequent paragraphs than are really there.

I'm kind of surprised that the story continues after you have your protagonist run over by a pinto. Seems like that's a good place to type "the end," although that leads to other problems.


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Bumbus_McGee
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Good points! Thanks!
*thumbs up*
*eats a sandwich*
*edits post*

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Bumbus_McGee
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Hmmm.. I'm not so sure what to do about the tense. I really like how it starts but my story is past tense... any advice on that?
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Beth
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Seems to me that putting the first two sentences in past tense would be the simplest solution.
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Bumbus_McGee
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Sounds simple enough!

[This message has been edited by Bumbus_McGee (edited June 12, 2005).]


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Bumbus_McGee
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What if i changed:
"He basks in the light of the sun as he watches the field of
grass dance in front of him. He is suffocating."

to:

"He basked in the light of the sun as he watched the field of
grass dance in front of him, suffocating."


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Beth
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that specific sentence makes it sound as if the field of grass is the entity that's suffocating, which I don't think is your intent.
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Gingivere
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I'm interested in knowing where this story is going, but I have a little trouble with the word "bask." Basking is more like relaxing, and seems to me like it's a choice. Sounds more like he's baking, in my opinion. I also don't know that I could picture a fish getting sent flying by a tire. It seems to me that it would be more likely he'd be squished. Anyways, like I said, I like the premise of the story and am intrigued, but those two things got my attention.
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Bumbus_McGee
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Thanks for the input. I'll work on that.
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Bumbus_McGee
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It is important that the protagonist here gets run over by the car. It is also important that he suvives. If it's easier for you, imagine it in a sort of cartoony world. I dunno... :/

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M_LaVerne
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I saw a story called Toad Rage that seems to have a similar premise as yours. You might take a look at it to see how the author handled the main character...a slightly flatened toad.

I think your story sounds fun and am willing to suspend my disbelief a little.


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Void
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I thought this was intriging.

Here are my suggested changes (IN CAPS):

A fish lies on the road. He SLOWLY BAKES in the HEAT of the sun as he watches the field of
grass dance in front of him. He is suffocating. It had only been moments since he had,
quite unwillingly, left his barrel of a home. This trout could remember the garbled words
which preceded his abode’s untimely destruction: “By golly, Willard, I RECKON ya couldn’
hit a fish with that thar gun if THAR were a barrel full o’ em.”

“Well I RECKON we be findin’ out soon nuff!” Then was the click and the bang.

“Blasted mammals!” thought the fish, “I’ll get my revenge or my name is not Naralethitap P. Jiles!”

The fish, struggling to move, heard a sound, an unfamiliar sound. Before he could react --as if he could react-- he was introduced to the right front tire of a mustard yellow 1976 pinto. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Jiles became acquainted with the right rear tire. This sent him flying Northwest to the quarry. Sailing through the air, he thought, “need water… can’t breath… pain! Ow!” Naralethitap had struck the hard ground.


If he was run over, wouldn't he be flattened? Why did it send him flying? This didn't make sense to me and took me out of the story.


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NewsBys
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Clever! So will we get to read the whole story sometime?
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Elan
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You could solve the problem with suspension of disbelief by letting us know the car that ran the fish over botched the job - that is, maybe it ran over a tail, not the body proper.

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Bumbus_McGee
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Maybe if I put in an extra little "... tire. But that couldn't be the end of Mr. Jiles! This sent... "

[This message has been edited by Bumbus_McGee (edited June 27, 2005).]


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Bumbus_McGee
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Or maybe a "That wasn't enough to end the life of Mr. Jiles. It had sent him... "
or
"For reasons not yet appropriate to explain, this sent him flying..."

Input! I need input!


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