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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » Sally Worthfields and the 12 gauge

   
Author Topic: Sally Worthfields and the 12 gauge
Devnal
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This is a short story that just kind of came to me the other day about an elderly widow who thinks her house has been broken into late at night. Just looking for comments on the first thirteen. Thanks a bunch


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Sally stood in the small, dark kitchen of the house she had lived in for the past fifty years. Her ears rang and her right shoulder ached. In her hands she held her late husbands shotgun. She wasnít sure if she was holding the damn thing right, but she did her best to mimic the way she saw Gerry hold it the handful of times she had accompanied him on hunting trips when they were just newlyweds.
Jesus but those were days long past, days when an old lady didnít have to fear being robbed in the middle of the night by a duo of hoodlums.
Whether she was holding it correctly or not, it still had produced the same wanted effect only moments ago. On the hunting trips with Gerry she always experienced the use of the

[This message has been edited by Kathleen Dalton Woodbury (edited February 13, 2009).]


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REVISED
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Sally stood in the small, dark kitchen of the house she had lived in for the past fifty years. Her ears rang and her right shoulder ached. In her small wrinkled hands she held her late husbands shotgun. She wasnít sure if she was holding the damn thing right, but she did her best to mimic the way she had seen Gerry hold it the handful of times she accompanied him on hunting trips when they were just newlyweds.Jesus, but those were days long past; days when an old lady didnít have to fear being robbed in the middle of the night by a duo of hoodlums.

Whether she was holding it correctly or not the gun still had produced the same wanted effect when she pulled its trigger only moments ago. On those hunting trips of old with Gerry she

[This message has been edited by Devnal (edited February 16, 2009).]


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Brant Danay
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Hey Devnal. This is pretty smooth. Just a few minor things I noted that might help you out.

In her hands she held her late husbands shotgun.

husbands should be possessive, i.e. "husband's"

She wasnít sure if she was holding the damn thing right, but she did her best to mimic the way she saw Gerry hold it the handful of times she had accompanied him on hunting trips when they were just newlyweds.

"the way she had seen Gerry hold it during the handful of times she had accompanied him on hunting trips, back when they were just newlyweds" might work a little better, or something like that

Whether she was holding it correctly or not, it still had produced the same wanted effect only moments ago.

This reads a little awkwardly. Something akin to "Whether she was holding it correctly or not, it had still produced the desired effect when she fired it moments ago" might work better. Maybe not that exactly, but something.

On the hunting trips with Gerry she always experienced the use of the gun from a safe distance and even then it was terrible;

"she had always experienced" might work better.

the roar of the shot, the convulsive kicks of the dying game, the blood.

Great, descriptive, graphic line. Kind of like the deleted scene from Bambi.

First hand experience was much worse.

Perfect hook for that last sentence. I can't imagine anyone not continuing to see how much worse (except Bambi).

This flows extremely well so far. Keep up the good work.

Brant


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Dogmatic
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Hi,
I agree with Brant. I liked it. My only comment would be on the line "Jesus..." Is this statement from the characters point of view or is the narrator another character in the story. It usually throws me when an omni narrator puts in his/own opinion like that. It might just be me since I have no idea if it's acceptable form. Then again I don't care that much about acceptable form.

Good job. Thanks for sharing.
Steve


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Devnal
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Thanks for the feedback.

I posted a revised 13 with some changes. The first part of the story is ready if anyone is willing to critique


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honu
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this is a general comment....the gun has obviously gone off....I think the natural flow of things should tailor the story to what she hit or missed rather than thoughts into the past...those could come in a bit....as it is it feels a bit unnatural to go into reminise mode when 2 robbers are running or lying in their blood or only in her mind.....I think that's where it could use some shoring up
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alliedfive
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I agree with Honu. I cant really buy that she starts thinking about the past, and her husband, just moments after shooting some people. And the same thing applies to her wondering if she was holding it correctly; that would probably occur to her as she picked it up.

Would it completely ruin the story if you started it a little sooner? Maybe she hears the intruder and then grabs the gun, thinks about her grip/husband, goes downstairs, kills robbers.


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Devnal
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Thanks guys,

Sally is suffering from acute dementia and memory loss in her old age, as well, she tends to spend a lot of time reminising (of the memories she has) to when her husband and son were at home and the place wasn't so lonely, and relates their being gone to the predicament she is in now. I like where I start the story, so I would like to not have to change it. Do you think I could still pull it off if I convey her state of mind a bit clearer?


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