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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » Waitress Girl (working title)

   
Author Topic: Waitress Girl (working title)
Daniel_W
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“We are just misguided ghosts,” crackles the radio, Hayley Williams' distorted voice drifting across the coffee shop towards me. I smile to myself for a moment, as the lyrics tickle my ears. Bet she never thought it could be so literal. I glance around, but the place is pretty deserted at this hour: just one balding man slumped across the counter. I feel a bit sorry for the waitress. She's brunette with long hair, maybe seventeen, and looks about ready to pour boiling milk over the guy's head. Man I used to hate closing time, when I was alive. Always one asshole left to bug you.
“Excuse me sir,” she says. I watch her careful expression.
“H-uh?” Oh, this is gonna be fun.
“We're about to close... did you need something else?”

*

Hey everyone, thanks for reading.

This started out as a microfic(ish) - 600 words, and more of a character sketch if I'm honest - but it's been sitting in the back of mind for a while now, and I'm going to try to turn it into a larger story. As such, notes on the first 13 would be great, and if anyone wants to see the full thing, then that'd be helpful too (it's going to form the opening scene). The full working title is 'Waitress Girl and the Ghost' (though I was tempted to just call it 'Misguided Ghosts' and have done with it), but somehow that doesn't sit right with me - any thoughts? I'm also tempted to remove the Paramore quote, but if it's not too offensive, I'd like to keep it. This was my first proper attempt at a first person narrative.

Hope you enjoyed, and all comments welcome.
Daniel.

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LeetahWest
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I really enjoyed it. I got so into the story from the beginning that I forgot I was supposed to be critiquing it. I really loved the line "ready to pour boiling milk over the guy's head." So true, been there experienced that.

I liked how you slipped in the "when I was alive." line. It doesn't jar you out of the scene to suddenly know that the narrator is a ghost, or at least dead. It is almost like a side note, you can acknowledge it with a teensy bit of your attention and still focus on the story.

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Daniel_W
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Hey there LeetahWest, really glad you enjoyed this [Smile] . Ha, me too on the boiling milk thing. My hatred of customers is quite profound, so I was hoping that people would enjoy it [Razz] .
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stutson
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I missed the being dead part when I read the first couple of sentences -- had to go back to re-read them. I even missed the "literal" bit. The first title might have clued me. The second one wouldn't have.

I haven't been there with the inconsiderate customer, so the boiling milk seemed a bit extreme. (It's really that bad?) Ice water down his neck would have been okay, though.

I'm hooked, though, expecting something of a romp? I'd be glad to look at it.

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babooher
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I think your line "Man I used to hate closing time, when I was alive." might make a better hook. I'm not saying you have to get rid of the quote, I'm simply suggesting some movement. That undead angle is what, to me, makes this interesting (although, I generally need some kind of genre slant to catch my interest).
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LDWriter2
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Nice, personally I think it's okay the way it is and it's catchy. I didn't realize that the comment about the song was meant to say your MC was dead until she got to the "when I was alive," line. I thought she might be someone who knew ghosts.

Nice rhythm and gets to the point real fast.

I think the waitress and ghost title is better, unless the ghost goes on and bugs other people.

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Merlion-Emrys
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I too find little to criticize here. Having worked for years in food service, the closing-time issues are very near and dear to me. The flow and voice are quite nice.

If you are still looking for readers, you can send it on to me.

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Lloyd Tackitt
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I would definitely read on.
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Daniel_W
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Hey everyone, thanks for reading!

Merlion-Emrys: thanks for the offer to read - I've sent it over [Smile] .

babooher: I did think about restructuring this for the rewrite (as it stands, the story is framed by two lines from the Paramore song); I think I will experiment a bit.

stutson, LDWriter2 and Lloyd Tackitt: really glad you enjoyed, and thanks for commenting!

*

I've decided to go back to my original title, Waitress Girl and the Ghost, since people seem to prefer it.

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