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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » Mirror, Wardrobe, Attic - The First 13

   
Author Topic: Mirror, Wardrobe, Attic - The First 13
Geoff Hawthorne
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Hi writery peeps! This is a 400-word flash fiction story tentatively titled, "Mirror, Wardrobe, Attic". It's about what happens to the people left behind when children are called to magical adventures. I'd like full readers who can give me advice on active/passive voice, suggestions for the story as a whole, and thoughts on the title. Thanks! [Smile]

Lucinda Davies stopped knitting when the children’s voices cut off.

Dropping the wool in her chair, she made her way up the stairs, trying not to let them squeak. She hoped it was only a prank; the sudden silence that comes when children plan mischief.

She paused outside the bedroom door, listening. No muffled giggles, no hurried whispers because Mother Was Coming. The room simply sounded empty.

Lucinda squeezed her eyes shut, readying herself, knowing it wouldn’t change a thing. She turned the knob and opened the door.

Sheets and blankets lay half-open on the beds. They hadn’t bothered stuffing pillows under them this time; they’d learned. There was no point. It was a silent agreement of sorts. She didn’t talk to them about it.

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A Yeatts
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I'll read. Send it on over!
Anna
[Smile]

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TempestDash
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Wow, I work with someone named Lucinda Davies...

Er, anyway, I'll read. The premise is fascinating.

The first 13 aren't objectionable, but they also lack real urgency. The feeling from these lines is that the mother is not surprised by their absence and that this is something that has happened before. I don't feel any of the terror a mother discovering her children are missing should evoke.

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C@R3Y
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I like it.

Send it along.

- One issue I think I had was "because Mother Was Coming". The way you include that in there seems a bit strange to me. Maybe because the way you have this - slows down the flow some. Perhaps try: "No muffled giggles, no hurried whispers of "Mother's coming." It's a thought. I think the "because" and "Was" is what's causing it to slow.

You could even get rid of "simply". To me, it's a weak adverb. Possibly try "The room sounded just empty", and include a "just" in there.

Of course, you don't have to go by either suggestion. They are just thoughts and opinions. I will give you a better crit when you send the story to me. :]

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Corky
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My goodness! If this sort of thing has happened before (so the mother knows about it), why in the world would any mother worth her salt let her children sleep in the same room with that wardrobe?

I'm guessing the mother went through the wardrobe herself when she was young, but to let her children sleep in that room requires some kind of compulsion on her.

Perhaps this story needs to start with Aslan, or whomever, coming to Mom and telling her it's time to put her children in the room. And all of the arguments she has with Him about her actually doing that.

Sorry, I'm a mom (as well as a knitter), and the thought of her simply sitting around knitting while waiting for her children to disappear goes against everything I can imagine.

Arrggghhhhh!!!!!! (Sigh! Sorry, had to get that off of my heart.)

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Geoff Hawthorne
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Wow, thanks for the great thoughts, everybody! I e-mailed copies to everyone who asked, and sincerely appreciate your help.

Unfortunately, everything that explains Lucinda's reaction (or apparent lack thereof) happens right after the first 13 lines. [Smile] She's not a terrible mom, I promise!

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angel011
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Perhaps Mom instead of Mother?

I'd like to read it too, if you don't require an immediate response (like tomorrow or something, I can't promise that [Smile] ).

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