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AskPik
December 15th, 2005, 05:41 PM
Shauna is a sophomore in high school. This is her first draft of a short story. She'd appreciate any feedback.

thanks,

--Aaron

http://www.sffworld.com/community/story/1133p0.html

Dawnstorm
December 15th, 2005, 08:32 PM
It's a nice story.

The language is quite adequate to Jeremy's age (which implies, however, that the story isn't told too far in the future. Either that, or he's consciously emulating boy-style).

The story Grandfather tells could be toned down a bit. It's a bit too dramatic, for me. But, then, that's probably just his style... So, forget that. ;)

I'm not sure that Mommy would speak so openly in front of Jeremy; she's talking as if Jeremy wasn't there. It would make more sense, if she called him out, and Jeremy would listen secretly. Or if she doesn't say that much, but Jeremy pieces things together from earlier conversations. You'll learn to be more careful around children, if you don't want to answer questions. (Even harmless ones get tyring after a while. ;) )

***

I didn't need to prove anything to anyone anymore.

The only thing that I received from my captors was a small portion of food for each meal and a cup of river water.

This transition doesn't work too well. I'd suggest a scene-break, here.

***

The strength of this story lies in the "voice" of the boy narrator. I've seen those things messed up, before.

Expendable
December 16th, 2005, 01:04 AM
Dawnstorm's right, it is a nice story - or at least a good begining.

The Grandfather's story could use some embelishment. To me it's plain he's no storyteller.


"Father," she said "are you telling your grandson about the wars from a long time ago?" Were there more recent wars grandfather fought in? Why 'grandson' and not Jeremy?


Grandfather smiled at mother. "Can't a grandfather tell his grandson about his boyhood?" If Grandfather was still a boy when he fought, how old was James? It's also not necessary for Grandfather to be used twice here. We know who she was talking to.


"Do mean Alex-," said grandfather before mother cut him off. Shouldn't it be "Do you mean Alex-,"

There's this sudden transition between when he's going to his room and has run away.


A man surrounded by five other men grabbed me and before I could say a word, they taped my mouth and tied me up. "A man surrounded..."? Were they after Jeremy or the man in the middle? And does tape fit into this period?


Anytime I talked, the tall man with the beard whipped him. Whipped who? And why does Jeremy wind up with the bruises?


In so much pain, mentally and physically I thought about running all the time but never actually tried to, because I knew that the punishment would be far worse than I could possibly imagine. How can he run away if he's been tied up?

This story has some very good potential once we realize what Jeremy's mom was trying to protect him from.



...This day is call'd the feast of Crispian.
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is named,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say, "To-morrow is Saint Crispian."
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say, "These wounds I had on Crispian's day."
Henry the V, Act IV, Scene 3