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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » Vanity And Learning At World's End

   
Author Topic: Vanity And Learning At World's End
LDWriter2
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Glad the forum is back up, I want to post this last night,

This is a revision of a story I did for the Bookend Challenge a while back. It's a bit different, especially for me. Those who may have read it before will see changes and that the ending is longer and different. I explained who the MC is.

As I said this is different, I know it's more narrative than most stories these days but recently I have read three stories with this style. That is not to say I can do it right but that it can be done even today.

The complete story is 1,356 words long if anyone wants to read the whole thing. I would appreciate it if you did if only to check for nitpicks and commas.


Vanity And Learning At World’s End


Vanity, all is vanity, especially at the end of the world. That thought ran through my head as I looked around the beauty parlor. One hair dresser teased a young woman’s hair, while another one applied dye to an older woman’s hair. Bright Pink.

Half a day before the date the Mayans said would be it for the world and people were getting their hair done. I walked the city studying mankind. I shrugged, I had nothing else to do and in this way I still learned. This was a surprise however. With a shake of my head I watched for a few minutes. Obviously they wanted to look beautiful for the end... or for whatever would come after.

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A Yeatts
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Sure thing. Send it on over!
Anna [Smile]

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History
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Just a note.
I like the nod to Ecclesiastes 1:2 in the first line.
Particularly as the more accurate translation is "Futility, all is futility...".
Perfect for an "end of the world" story. [Wink]

From a technical standpoint, the sentences that follow could be tightened up perhaps. For example. It is self-evident that the first sentence is the "thought (running) through (the protagonist's) head", so omit this and start sentence two with "I looked around...". Sentence three has a repetition of "woman's hair" which I suggest be avoided. "Half a day before the date" is unwieldy. How about "Tomorrow the Mayans had predicted the world would end and women were getting their hair done." [Love the image, btw]. Etc.

As usual, an interesting premise with a mysterious protagonist with an interesting perspective and a good hook (laissez-faire re: the end of the world).

Respectfully,
Dr. Bob

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rcmann
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I hate to nitpick basic things, but you do realize that the Mayan's didn't actually expect the world to end? We are just supposed to start a new calendar cycle. Kinda like starting a new millenium, but not.
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LDWriter2
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Thanks to all three.

I'll be sending it to Yeatts later tonight.

And I can see how they could use tightening, Dr. Bob. And for this story Futility would work, it's after the challenge and I can change the words if I choose to.

And I only used that event because it's the one that currently is on most people's mind. I knew they had another date listed after that one and evidently they really didn't expect the world to end.

[ February 27, 2012, 12:02 AM: Message edited by: LDWriter2 ]

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History
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Oh, I wouldn't change the words of the first line, LD. "Vanity" is the common translation and you want the reader to recognize the allusion.

Respectfully,
Dr.Bob

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LDWriter2
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I think it still fits but I could use it in the last paragraph since I'm no longer using the first line as the last line also. We shall see when I redo it again.
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LDWriter2
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I want to say thanks to all who sent crits.

I ended up forgetting that I hadn't finished going over all the crits... good thing I double checked. So now it's finished. I did some rewriting on parts trying to add Show. Such as the narrator mentions a Newscast about the end of the world. I now include what he saw. I deleted a few extra words too and changed a few sentences. I don't know if an editor will think the new ones are better but I do.

And I should have made sure I had the names right- it may have been snapper- but special thanks to whoever went through it and suggested adding and deleting commas and a few words.

If it was someone else and you read this please say so. My fault for not double checking that I had names to go with each crit.

So the story will probably be going out Saturday or sooner if I change my mind about who it is going to.

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A Yeatts
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I might have been your comma-er. Good luck with the submission!
Anna
[Smile]

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LDWriter2
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If it was you. Thanks a bunch, That's the type of thing I need.


I've made that mistake before with not making sure I had a name with every crit. I think I figure I can always go back to the E-mail since I save them until I'm sure I don't need 'em anymore.

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