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Author Topic: Free Loader
shimiqua
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Andrew McGee was a weirdo. The kids at school teased him. He would give them a crazy look, and they would leave him alone. After all, no one wants violence in schools. The children would then tease him behind his back, leaving him behind a tall invisible wall. The teachers all thought he was isolating himself; after all he was a weirdo. So no one missed him when he disappeared.
Oh sure, his parents threw a press conference and sent out fliers, but their grief didnít last as long as it probably should have. Andrew was so very different, that even his parents had trouble loving him.
They all would have lived happily ever after, if Andrew hadnít done the one unpardonable thing.


Yes it is info dumpy. That's on purpose, it goes into prose in two more lines.
Any opinions other than 'Hey thats info dumpy' would be greatly appreciated.
I would also love readers of the whole thing. Just shy of 2000 words
Thanks peeps
~Sheena


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Cheyne
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I see some promise of a good story here, but the opening doesn't grab me immediately. I would rewrite the first paragraph to pull us in even sooner. The fact that he is a weirdo doesn't do it but a missing weirdo might.


No one missed Andrew McGee when he disappeared; he was a weirdo. The kids at school had teased him and he had given them crazy looks that made them leave him alone. That look had promised violence.

I would stay to say more but life is calling.

I'll read the whole thing if you'd like. Send it out.

[This message has been edited by Cheyne (edited April 29, 2008).]


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Merlion-Emrys
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You still need to send it to me in word, RTF or txt :-)
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nitewriter
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Ok, you tell us it's info dumpy but the prose starts soon - a luxury you will not have when this story is being read by an editor for possible publication.

It reads to me like a synopsis - the framework for a story. You tell us Andrew is weird, but that is all. We have no evidence of this other than you telling us this. It would be better if you actually started the story with Andrew actually engaged in something weird - and we saw for ourselves he is weird - without being told. It would be more believable, interesting, and easier to "feel" for the characters.


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Merlion-Emrys
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Thats true...but I've read published stories that start that way.
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arriki
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I think you have too much of the wrong info. It might work better if instead of telling us he was a weirdo and all the kids teased him Ė be specific. How was he weird and the kids teased him? That might be more of a grabber.

More like Ė

The teachers all thought Andrew McGee was isolating himself. He ____. So no one missed him when he disappeared.
Oh sure, his parents threw a press conference and sent out fliers, but their grief didnít last as long as it probably should have because even his parents had trouble loving Andrew.
They all would have lived happily after his disappearance except Andrew ________(whatever he did).

Fill in the blanks with specifics. But thatís just my opinion on this.


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shimiqua
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I am trying to tell a story about a misfit fifteen year old boy who travels to a magical place and learns and grows.
Any of you ever read a story like that?

umm yeah so you all have.

I'm trying to do something different.

I'm trying to tell a story that is often missed in those stories. So I am info dumping to get the reader to the right place in a familiar story arc.

Again I am looking for readers to tell me if it worked.


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Bent Tree
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The voice didn't work for me.

It seemed matter of fact, and well the last line seemed to be the hook, did the opposite for me. It felt like a conclusion rather than a lure.

This style of narration is ok, but is not often needed in short stories.

quote:
Andrew McGee was a weirdo[According to who? One mans weirdo is anothers normal]. The kids at school teased him. He would give them a crazy look, and they would leave him alone. After all, no one wants violence in schools[Non sequitur/ doesn't logically follow/]. The children would then tease him behind his back, leaving him behind a tall invisible wall[?]. The teachers all thought he was isolating himself; after all he was a weirdo. So no one missed him when he disappeared.
Oh sure, his parents threw a press conference and sent out fliers, but their grief didnít last as long as it probably should have. Andrew was so very different, that even his parents had trouble loving him.
They all would have lived happily ever after, if Andrew hadnít done the one unpardonable thing.

[This message has been edited by Bent Tree (edited April 29, 2008).]


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wbriggs
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Whose POV is this? Yes, I know the first paragraph is free, but I suspect you could go ahead and settle on a POV.
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mrmccoy
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I can't sympathize with Andrew... By stating that Andrew was a weirdo, the narrator decrees it to be true.

Consider something along these lines:

When the kids at school teased Andrew McGee, he would give them a crazy look and they would leave him alone.

Thus Andrew could be a weirdo or merely imploying a defense mechanisim.

"The teachers all thought.." is a bit nebulous. You could give it some bite by reworking it to a sharper focus:

The talk going around the teacher's lounge was that the little wierdo was isolating himself.

I think you could trim down some of the detail of teasing- readers can fill in the blanks with personal experience, (as teased or teasers) and give a little more detail on the "one unpardonable thing." That's your hook- dig it in.


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