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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » The Truck a short story WIP

   
Author Topic: The Truck a short story WIP
honu
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Have you ever woken from a dream and thought : Wow, there might be a story in this?.....Here's one I woke up with today....
quote:
It was that dream again. Maggie thrashed helplessly in her sleep as she watched herself in the dream. Once again, Jeff was about to tell her to turn the key on the old 51 GMC, while he poured gas into the ancient single barrel carburetor.
Wake up, don't turn the key! her dreaming self cried out. “Ok, hit it,” Jeff said. The world exploded in flames, when the truck backfired, as it had in so many dreams, on so many nights before. Maggie woke up. The sheets were soaked with sweat and the pillow with tears. She tasted salt on her lips as her chest heaved in grief once again. She sat up and hugged the damp pillow to herself and looked over to the mantle. Jeff's urn sat there between their pictures.

quote:
I wish Jeff would get a new car. Maggie peered out the front window from behind the wheel of Jeff's pride and joy. Once again, Jeff was about to tell her to turn the key on the old 51 GMC, while he poured gas into the ancient single barrel carburetor. Every other week, the old gas tank dumped so much rust into it, he had to drain out the fuel bowl and have Maggie help him re--prime it.
“Ok, hit it,” Jeff said. The world exploded in flames, when the truck backfired. As it had in so many dreams, on so many nights before, waking Maggie up. The sheets were soaked with sweat and her pillow with tears. She tasted salt as her chest heaved in grief once again. She sat up and hugged the damp pillow to herself and looked over to the mantle. Jeff's urn sat there between their pictures.



[This message has been edited by honu (edited November 12, 2008).]


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honu
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Ugggg sorry about the triple post...I kept getting error codes...when it finally posted it did so 3 times ...apologies....

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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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No problem, honu. I've taken care of it.
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Kee Stone
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This whole idea is interesting to me. It is a good idea. I actually write down my dreams when I remember them. There's a lot of good ideas, but few that have made it into plot lines. Though, unlike writing, it's more like documenting a movie than creating a story when I do do it.

But the actual story is not apparent in these first lines. I mean, I get it that her dream is a representation of what happened many years ago, but I'm of the opinion, 'So what'.

Its not a story in and of itself. There has to be more, and it has to be told right of the bat, or we'll never want to read it.

Hope this is helpful, and good luck!
Kee Stone

[This message has been edited by Kee Stone (edited November 12, 2008).]


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Devnal
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As far as dream sequence go, I actually liked this one.
my notes

It was that dream again. Maggie thrashed helplessly in her sleep as she watched herself in the dream (bit of a problem with the POV here, consider taking out "thrashed helplessly in her sleep" as it is not something she would know about at the time while she is asleep). Once again, Jeff was about to tell her to turn the key on the old 51 GMC, while he poured gas into the ancient single barrel carburetor.(I don't know how I feel about this line, it sets up for the disaster to come; but even being as car retarded as I am, this doesnt sound like a good idea and seems almost comical)
Wake up, don't turn the key! her dreaming self cried out(stating this as what her "dreaming self" cries out makes me think she is saying it in the dream. I think you trying to convey that it is her "watching" self that is screaming this out; could be made clearer.) . “Ok, hit it,” Jeff said. The world exploded in flames,(lose the comma) when the truck backfired, as it had in so many dreams, on so many nights before. Maggie woke up. The sheets were soaked with sweat and the pillow with tears. She tasted salt on her lips (salt on the lips is ambiguous, from her tears and sweat? did she have a couple of saltines before bed? I would say you could even lose this added description without taking away from the story) as her chest heaved in grief once again. She sat up and hugged the damp pillow to herself and looked over to the mantle. Jeff's urn sat there between their pictures. (really awesome last line)

-----

only thing else to say is what im sure many otheres here will point out for you. Dreamsequences are cliche-y. As an added suggestion-- consider working it out so we don't know it's a dream until she actually awakes. It might make for a bit of confusion, but if you can show a dream in 13 lines and have her wake up, it may be worth it for the reader.

[This message has been edited by Devnal (edited November 12, 2008).]


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honu
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Thanks Kathleen...I don't know why I triple posted...
Thanks Kee Stone... I understand your point...hopefully an exploding pick up and death will pull it off...
Thanks Devnal... I tried it the way you suggested...does it work better ?
As always...thank you guys for helping out

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kings_falcon
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I prefer version 1. Version 2 is a trick, which turns me off. The reason I like version 1 is because I know it's a dream from the start. Even though dreams are cliche this one sounds like it's the right place to start.

I'd break the "Maggie woke up" into it's own paragraph. There's some cutting that can be done, and I'll comment on it when I get more time, but the first version's a nice start.

I would read on with the 1st but not the 2nd version.

Oh, and having a friend in college that started his car with a screwdriver while someone turned the key, I could believe this scene even if pouring gas onto a spark seems insane.

[This message has been edited by kings_falcon (edited November 13, 2008).]


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honu
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Funny you said that kings falcon...older fords are easy to start with pliers or screwdriver...btw I owned a 51 gmc pickup and when it ran out of gas...this is how u primed it....

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deebum25
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Hi Honu!

I'm a little behind the game but I'll give you my two cents anyway. I actually liked the second version better provided that it starts with Jeff's line of dialogue. The sentence following is clunky.

The world exploded in flames, when the truck backfired. As it had in so many dreams, on so many nights before, waking Maggie up.

How about The world exploded in flames when the truck backfired. It jolted Maggie from sleep as it had on so many nights before.

Waking up seems a little tame for the scenario.

Good luck!


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MrsBrown
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I like the first version way better. I don't like thinking it's a real situation and then finding out it's a dream. Bait and switch.
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annepin
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Yeah, definitely with dreams full disclosure is better.
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honu
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Thank you: Deebum 25, Mrs Brown, and Annepin this story has already been sent on it's merry way to oceanview short story contest...they were looking for a story with a twist (which, I think it has)...I ended up with @ 1900 words... thank you all that commented
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