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Author Topic: Understream
ChrisOwens
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Here's a story I'm trying to revise. The revision might be worst than the original. How's this opening?
________________________________________________________________________________________
One paycheck, they say, a slip of paper keeping the week-by-week folks off the street. If Iíd had a paycheck back then, I wouldíve have spent it on booze. It didnít matter that Elliott Cutler was my father-- yeah, the Elliott Cutler, theorist extraordinaire, wife beater; not I, Elliott Junior, residentially challenged and well, Iíll leave it at that.

I huddled in my spot, a scrap of cardboard beside the dumpster. The cardboard had made a nice box once. It didnít take long for it to fall apart, just another thing Iíve ruined. Tundra tilted his head, as if he could read my thoughts. Well, he could, sort of.

"Yeah, you heard me. Everything I touch turns to rot,Ē I said. "So donít touch. You might too."


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Marva
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Well, you start with a sentence fragment, which can't be a good thing. I went back twice trying to find the sentence in it and couldn't.

"One paycheck, they say, is...

The sentence starting "It didn't matter.." has too much information. Try to break that up into a couple of sentences--one for the father and one for the son.

"It didn't take long..." divide the two thoughts with a semicolon not a comma.

There's a lot grammatically wrong here that you need to clean up first. Does it intrigue me? Not when I have to stumble through it to get the meaning.

Sorry. I don't mean to be mean.


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Ray
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Second sentence, you wrote "...I would've have..." which should be "would have."

The first paragraph is a bit bloated and hard to follow, but I really like everything after that.

Although, last paragraph, say something like, "So don't touch me." That flows better in my mind.


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Susannaj4
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"Elliott Cutler was my father-- yeah, the Elliott Cutler, theorist extraordinaire"

Sounds like a line from an old black and white movie. I like it, that portion of it anyway.

Wow. I have tried to figure this out. You have painted a picture, expressed feelings and maybe given too much insight into the character. I see what you are trying to do.
_____
They say that one paycheck is a slip of paper keeping the week-by-week folks off the street. If I'd had a paycheck back then, I'd have spent it on booze.
_______
Are we entering a flashback at this point?

___
My name only mattered in certain circles that I, residentially challenged at the moment to say the least, wasn't floating in. My father is Elliot Cutler-yeah,the Elliot Cutler, theorist Extraordinaire and wife beater. Little did he care that right now I was huddled in my spot...

Anyway, it's just a thought.

[This message has been edited by Susannaj4 (edited February 07, 2006).]


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Silver3
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A bit confusing. The disgression on paychecks threw me out, and I had trouble coming back to the MC being on the street.

quote:
yeah, the Elliott Cutler, theorist extraordinaire, wife beater; not I, Elliott Junior, residentially challenged and well, .

The second half (after the colon) confused me because I had trouble figuring out what the "not I" referred to.

I'm not sure I'm hooked. The MC is having a conversation with Tundra (and I'm not sure who or what Tundra is), he's been on the street awhile, but it doesn't sound as though anything special is going to happen. The voice is good, though, and I'd keep on reading for a little while. But I would advise against the paycheck rant, it's distracting.


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yanos
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If I remember rightly in this story Tundra is a dog (???) and that part is the hook here. In which case it is lost under some rambling thoughts. There is no direction to this beginning for us to get a hold of. Basically you've spent two paragraphs showing us this guy is a loser, which may be important, but lacks impact.

You never said how long this was. Again that is a factor in this type of opening.


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Aspirations
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Grammatical errors and phrasing problems aside, I am intrigued. There's a sense of the MC laughing at himself and his lot in life. I don't sense bitterness in him at all and I get the sense that something is about to happen to him. I think with a little polishing the opening has possibilities.

I was also interested in Yano's comment that Tundra is a dog. A telepathic dog? Interesting...


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