My Writers Circle

Workshop => Review My Work => Topic started by: Catherine F on July 31, 2015, 11:50:00 AM

Title: second draft : "Where I met my double"
Post by: Catherine F on July 31, 2015, 11:50:00 AM
I post this before going away for two weeks in a no-screen space-time. I am not too happy about it (the draft, not the space-time). I'll keep on working on it and try to go on with the story (but the ideas I come up with are more a matter of teenage literature). It will be back to paper and pen though!

Where I met my double

   I read once that we all have six doubles on earth. Chances to meet one  seem scarce indeed. I met mine, and it led me into much more trouble than you would imagine.

   We were on the motorway, heading for the ocean in scorching heat. Mum was struggling to pass a speeding truck. My sister and I were fighting for space in the back seat, and Harry, Mum's new boyfriend, slept  next to her. The car was packed up to the roof with tents, sleeping bags, surf boards and suitcases, so we hardly had any room for ourselves.

   ''I give up'', said Mum. ''Let's stop and have lunch, I'm tired  of driving.'' And she headed for the service area.

   I felt so jammed and scrambled that I burst out of the car before it was fully stopped, sighing with relief, and Sian, my sister, soon followed me. Meanwhile, Mum tried to wake up stupid Harry. I was looking for a public mist spray to cool down when I heard Sian exclaim : ''Watch, Mum, watch, he looks like Tim!'' I raised my eyes and I thought I saw myself across the parking lot.
   ''Incredible! Amazing!'', Mum repeated in awe. The boy was staring straight at me, while his father called to us : ''Brothers! Brothers !''

    It was a strange moment : I recognized everything in him, from his thin features to his tall figure, his thick hair and the way his neck stood between his broad shoulders. Mum had already crossed the road to meet them, and Sian and I joined the small group. As I got closer, I could see that the ressemblance was uncanny: we were alike down to the last dimple!
''Hi!'' I said, blushing. My head buzzed and my neck tingled with self-consciousness.
''Hello me! I just couldn't believe my eyes when I saw you. What's your name?'' He seemed slightly older than me, and he was definitely less shy.

 ''I'm Tim''. I tried to sound jolly, but my voice squeaked. I held out my hand, which he took between both of his, squeezing it while he said :

''Wow, Tim, you make my day, boy! We are sure like two drops of water! I'm Arthur by the way, my friends call me Art.'' He let go of my hand and we turned to the others. Mum and his dad were engaged in conversation, and Sian was explaining the situation to Harry, whose mouth stayed open in surprise as he stared from Arthur to me and back again.

''Well'', Arthur's dad said, ''we must get going, but these boys will sure want to swap addresses.''

''Here'', Sian took out a pen and a notebook from her handbag.

   This is how it all started.


  
Title: Re: second draft : "Where I met my double"
Post by: umair7 on July 31, 2015, 12:09:47 PM

On the whole the writing is good. I would appreciate if you dropped character descriptions. I have the stupid "Harry" I can't quite picture him, you only said he was sleeping. I would like to know about MC mother too. but hey these are just suggestions you can ignore them if you want too.

I don't know for some reason I pictured the MC as a girl and couldn't see him as guy and his reaction upon seeing his double portrays him as a girl, cause boys don't blush or become self-conscious upon seeing other boys. Well sure we blush upon seeing beautiful girls but blushing doesn't happen with boys. So I would suggest you should change that, unless the MC turns out to be Homo-Sexual/

All are just suggestions you can ignore them if you want too
Title: Re: second draft : "Where I met my double"
Post by: lonnielong on July 31, 2015, 06:07:45 PM
I see that you took my advice and showed some discrepancies between the two. I think that helps to distinguish one from the other a little bit.

I do agree with Umair7, though, about how boys wouldn't blush upon seeing each other and whatnot. Perhaps the main character could just more reserved than his "twin", opposed to being bashful like a school girl with a crush, you know what I mean?

Just a suggestion. It's your story, and you're free to write it however you please. :)

This is better than the first draft, I'd say, but I still think it needs a bit more fine-tuning.
Title: Re: second draft : "Where I met my double"
Post by: shadowboxer on July 31, 2015, 06:31:36 PM
Hi Catherine,

I liked the revision you made, the first paragraph reads better with the punctuation changes and overall I think the piece has improved. I think further editing should come only when the rest of the story is written, you'll probably have a better notion of what matters to the story or not, if there is something to be added, etc.

I'm sorry, I wouldn't usually comment about comments but that blushing issue has me a bit stunned to be honest. I won't go into much discussion about it, I'll just wikipedy my wait out

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blushing
Title: Re: second draft : "Where I met my double"
Post by: lonnielong on July 31, 2015, 06:38:48 PM
It seems that the evidence is in support of your argument Shadowboxer, but I still feel that the blushing thing just seems strange when it involves two guys, unless, like umair7 said, the character is homosexual, and he's attracted to, in this case...himself.
Much like the main character, I'm a very anxious person, but I'm quite certain that I wouldn't blush in the sort of situation that the story presented. Blushing, in my experience, usually has some romantic connotations.
But, of course, that's simply my opinion.
Title: Re: second draft : "Where I met my double"
Post by: shadowboxer on July 31, 2015, 06:59:36 PM
Well, I'll just state that I disagree and keep it at that.
Title: Re: second draft : "Where I met my double"
Post by: Owl5986 on August 01, 2015, 12:08:55 AM
Always lovely to see you posting, Catherine,


I post this before going away for two weeks in a no-screen space-time. I am not too happy about it (the draft, not the space-time). I'll keep on working on it and try to go on with the story (but the ideas I come up with are more a matter of teenage literature). It will be back to paper and pen though!

Where I met my double

   I read once that we all have six doubles on earth (as opposed to on mars?  :P). Chances to meet one seem scarce indeed. I met mine, and it led me into much more trouble than you ('I' would be more personal; make for more interesting writing) would imagine.

   We were on the motorway, heading for the ocean in scorching heat. Mum was struggling to pass a speeding truck. My sister and I were fighting for space in the back seat, and Harry, Mum's new boyfriend, slept  next to her. The car was packed up to the roof with tents, sleeping bags, surf boards and suitcases, so we hardly had any room for ourselves.

   ''I give up'', said Mum. ''Let's stop and have lunch, I'm tired  of driving.'' And she headed for the service area.

   I felt so jammed and scrambled that I burst out of the car before it was fully stopped (maybe 'before it fully stopped'), sighing with relief, and Sian, my sister, soon followed me. Meanwhile, Mum tried to wake up stupid Harry. I was looking for a public mist spray to cool down when I heard Sian exclaim : ''Watch, Mum, watch, he looks like Tim!'' I raised my eyes and I thought I saw myself across the parking lot.
   ''Incredible! Amazing!'', Mum repeated (said) in awe. The boy was staring straight at me, while his father called to us : ''Brothers! Brothers !''

    It was a strange moment : I recognized everything in him, from his thin features to his tall figure, his thick hair and the way his neck stood between his broad shoulders. Mum had already crossed the road to meet them, and Sian and I joined the small group. As I got closer, I could see that the ressemblance was uncanny: we were alike down to the last dimple!
''Hi!'' I said, blushing.  :D My head buzzed and my neck tingled with self-consciousness. Hehe
''Hello me! I just couldn't believe my eyes when I saw you. What's your name?'' He seemed slightly older than me, and he was definitely less shy.

 ''I'm Tim''. I tried to sound jolly, but my voice squeaked. I held out my hand, which he took between both of his, squeezing it while he said :

''Wow, Tim, you make my day, boy! We are sure like two drops of water! I'm Arthur by the way, my friends call me Art.'' He let go of my hand and we turned to the others. Mum and his dad were engaged in conversation, and Sian was explaining the situation to Harry, whose mouth stayed open in surprise as he stared from Arthur to me and back again.

''Well'', Arthur's dad said, ''we must get going, but these boys will sure want to swap addresses.''

''Here'', Sian took out a pen and a notebook from her handbag.

   This is how it all started.


  

A lovely read  ;D And I loved the blushing bit. Adds character.
Title: Re: second draft : "Where I met my double"
Post by: hillwalker3000 on August 01, 2015, 10:46:19 AM
I’ll comment as I read through:

   I read once that we all have six doubles on earth. Chances to meet one  seem scarce indeed. Rather clunky. It might work better if you were more specific – That’s about one chance in a billion. But since most readers will appreciate it’s a rare event I’m not sure why you felt the need to mention it before the story begins.

I met mine, and it led me into much more trouble than you would imagine.
Again I’m not sure why you saw a need to tell us this. If you hadn’t met up there’d be no story. Also addressing the reader directly in this way is not usually recommended.

Personally I believe your opening paragraph can be safely discarded since it’s causing more problems than it solves. You could jump straight into the actual story right from the opening sentence and allow us to see for ourselves what happened instead of trying to prepare the ground. As it stands it's like someone writing 'Why don't you sit down and let me tell you my story?' - rather old-fashioned.

   We were on the motorway, heading for the ocean in scorching heat. Mum was struggling to pass a speeding truck. My sister and I were fighting for space in the back seat, and Harry, Mum's new boyfriend, slept  next to her. The car was packed up to the roof with tents, sleeping bags, surf boards and suitcases, so we hardly had any room for ourselves.
   ''I give up'', said Mum. ''Let's stop and have lunch, I'm tired  of driving.'' And she headed for the service area.

That’s a decent enough start – though you could re-jig it slightly:

  We were on the motorway, heading for the ocean in scorching heat. The car was packed up to the roof with tents, sleeping bags, surf boards and suitcases, and my sister and I were forced to fight for space in the back seat. Mum was struggling to pass a speeding truck while Harry, her new boyfriend, slept in the passenger seat.
''I give up'', said Mum. ''Let's stop and have lunch. I'm tired of driving.'' And she headed for the service area.

Can you see the difference? How one statement leads to the next allowing the narrative to flow in one direction?

   I felt so jammed and scrambled that I burst out of the car before it was fully stopped, sighing with relief, and Sian, my sister, soon followed me. Meanwhile, Mum tried to wake up stupid Harry. I was looking for a public mist spray to cool down when I heard Sian exclaim : ''Watch, Mum, watch, he looks like Tim!'' I raised my eyes and I thought I saw myself across the parking lot.
Overall I feel this paragraph is rather rushed. There’s far too much going on – none of it worth taking notice of as it stands.
What is it you want us to focus on? Tim jumping out before the car stops? Mum waking Harry? Tim’s search for a mist spray? Sian spotting Tim’s double? It could be any one of these four.

I would advise you to expand this scene – build it up so it reads less disjointed. You could bring up everyone’s discomfort after such a long, hot car journey – maybe some dialogue. Harry’s reaction to getting woken and being asked to check on the surfboards. Tim finding a mist spray and possibly soaking his sister as a joke. By doing this your characters will start to come alive. That has to happen first before the twist.
You seem to be in a rush to get to the important part of the plot but because we have barely had time to get to know your characters the appearance of Tim’s double is just one more event in a series of random events you’re describing.

  ''Incredible! Amazing!'', Mum repeated in awe said. We know she repeated it. We can read the dialogue. And the words she used suggests she was filled with awe..
New paragraph – new speaker.
The boy was staring straight at me, while his father called to us : ''Brothers! Brothers !''

Again this is extremely rushed. How does Tim know the man who’s speaking is the boy’s father? Would Tim not be rather overwhelmed by the situation? Focusing more on the way this strange boy looks than on the sounds going on around them? Maybe he’d hear the words ‘Brothers’ but not be paying attention to who said them.
Also you have a serious issue with exclamation marks. I’m afraid it makes your writing look amateurish.

    It was a strange moment : I recognized everything in him, from his thin features to his tall figure, his thick hair and the way his neck stood between his broad shoulders.
This is fine.

Mum had already crossed the road to meet them, and Sian and I joined the small group. As I got closer, I could see that the resemblance was uncanny: we were alike down to the last dimple!
This not so much. Tim would be so transfixed on this boy he wouldn’t be taking notice of who crossed the road or who joined the small group. The camera needs to follow Tim and show us what he's doing or feeling. That’s the whole point of this scene surely.

''Hi!'' I said, blushing. My head buzzed and my neck tingled with self-consciousness.
Blushing is fine – it’s a natural reaction to embarrassment or confusion. Sexual attraction has nothing to do with it in children.

''Hello me! I just couldn't believe my eyes when I saw you. What's your name?'' He seemed slightly older than me, and he was definitely less shy.
Great opening line (please do something about the punctuation!). But the rest of the dialogue doesn’t ring true. They’re two complete strangers. And they're boys. They’d still be struggling to put their feelings into words.

The rest of the scene also reads rushed. Telling the reader that people were engaged in conversation – explaining the situation to each other – doesn’t add anything to the story. Why not show us if it's so important?
You could have the parents mentioning each boy’s name while Tim and Arthur continue to inspect each other. Their mutual curiosity doesn’t come across strongly enough in my opinion.

I like the line about two drops of water. If Art is the more outgoing of the two it would make sense that he’d say something like this in fun. But otherwise their over-formal introduction (complete with handshakes) reminded me of Stanley meeting Dr Livingstone in the jungle. Children don’t talk or behave like this in my experience.

Did I mention how rushed this was? Here’s more proof:
“Well'', Arthur's dad said, ''we must get going, but these boys will sure want to swap addresses.''
''Here'', Sian took out a pen and a notebook from her handbag.
This is how it all started.


It ends up fizzling out.
I’m sure there’s a great story on the horizon but you maybe need to spend more time building it up.
Just one opinion – use or lose.

H3K
Title: Re: second draft : "Where I met my double"
Post by: Clarius on August 01, 2015, 02:32:16 PM
I read your first but don't think I commented. I don't like commenting on non-native speakers because so often the only issue is their grasp of the language and, hey, with my schoolboy grasp of French and Spanish who am I to chuck stones at another's greenhouse. I don't usually comment on second drafts because they're often rushed 'designed by committee' responses. But since you're making the effort it seems incumbent upon us to reply.

I read once that we all have six doubles on earth. Chances to meet one  seem scarce indeed. I met mine, and it led me into much more trouble than you would imagine.

^ I've never heard the concept of us having six doubles - a double yes but not six - and wonder it you're not confusing it with the theory of six degrees of separation? That nit-picking not withstanding I like that you set out your stall in this first paragraph and give us a little hook to keep us reading on.

We were on the motorway, heading for the ocean in scorching heat. Mum was struggling to pass a speeding truck. My sister and I were fighting for space in the back seat, and Harry, Mum's new boyfriend, slept  next to her. The car was packed up to the roof with tents, sleeping bags, surf boards and suitcases, so we hardly had any room for ourselves.

^ That's a fair representation of the stasis of your story world but I'm wondering if this isn't you telling you the story, that you're opened a window onto your creative process, that first draft thing King calls 'writing with the door closed'.

''I give up'', said Mum. ''Let's stop and have lunch, I'm tired  of driving.'' And she headed for the service area.

^ Good lead into what comes next. Too often in the rush to get to where they're going I see other writers seque from one scene to another for no good reason.

I felt so jammed and scrambled that I burst out of the car before it was fully stopped, sighing with relief, and Sian, my sister, soon followed me. Meanwhile, Mum tried to wake up stupid Harry. I was looking for a public mist spray ??? to cool down when I heard Sian exclaim : ''Watch, Mum, watch, he looks like Tim!'' I raised my eyes and I thought I saw myself across the parking lot.

^ Strunk & White. Omit needless words. and more punctuation. I'm sure there's a paragraph break between them arriving and Sian noticing Tim's doppelganger.

''Incredible! Amazing!'', Mum repeated in awe. The boy was staring straight at me, while his father called to us : ''Brothers! Brothers !''

^ Too much, too soon?

  It was a strange moment : I recognized everything in him, from his thin features to his tall figure, his thick hair and the way his neck stood between his broad shoulders. Mum had already crossed the road to meet them, and Sian and I joined the small group. As I got closer, I could see that the ressemblance was uncanny: we were alike down to the last dimple!

^ My eyes were drawn to your use of the word uncanny. There's a excellent essay by Freud on that very subject. His conclusions are drawn from his reading of The Tales of Hoffman. If you intend to write in this genre consider reading it. Again, I think a paragraph break is needed and that this too much too soon. You've a good premise here but you're rushing to your conclusion.

In conclusion I think you could have drawn this out to one chapter's worth of showing rather than a half-page worth of telling.

Okay, so your conclusion is yet to come and I'm intrigued as to what it will be. By having his family be aware of Art's existence you're removed all potential for Parent Trap type shenanigans. Interesting.

Oh, that whole blushing thing got me too, but lonnielong nailed the comments on that score.
Title: Re: second draft : "Where I met my double"
Post by: MaryRuth on August 02, 2015, 04:08:59 AM
Hi Catherine

This seemed much better and sharper than your first draft. I've let a few comments below.

Enjoy your screen-free holiday!

M


   I read once that we all have six doubles on earth. Chances to meet one  seem scarce indeed. I met mine, and it led me into much more trouble than you would imagine.

   We were on the motorway, heading for the ocean in scorching heat. Mum was struggling to pass a speeding truck. My sister and I were fighting for space in the back seat, and Harry, Mum's new boyfriend, slept  next to her. The car was packed up to the roof with tents, sleeping bags, surf boards and suitcases, so we hardly had any room for ourselves. i agree with hillwalker's comments here

   ''I give up'', said Mum. ''Let's stop and have lunch, I'm tired  of driving.'' And she headed for the service area.
nice - straight to the point - moves the action forward
   I felt so jammed and scrambled not sure about this. 'Jammed' to me is more to do with getting stuckthat I burst out of the car before it was fully stopped, sighing with relief, that to me suggests that the car is sighing and Sian, my sister, soon followed me. Meanwhile, Mum tried to wake up stupid Harry. I was looking for a public mist spray to cool down when I heard Sian exclaim : ''Watch, Mum, watch, he looks like Tim!'' I raised my eyes and I thought I saw myself across the parking lot.
   ''Incredible! Amazing!'', Mum repeated in awe. shes not actually repeating words here, just a sentiment The boy was staring straight at me, while his father called to us : ''Brothers! Brothers !''

    It was a strange moment : I recognized everything in him, from his thin features to his tall figure, his thick hair and the way his neck stood between his broad shoulders. Mum had already crossed the road to meet them, and Sian and I joined the small group. As I got closer, I could see that the ressemblance was uncanny: we were alike down to the last dimple!
''Hi!'' I said, blushing. My head buzzed and my neck tingled with self-consciousness. is it necessary to add 'with self-consciousness' here?
''Hello me! I just couldn't believe my eyes when I saw you. think the second sentence could be deleted. What's your name?'' He seemed slightly older than me, and he was definitely less shy.

 ''I'm Tim''. I tried to sound jolly, but my voice squeaked. I held out my hand, which he took between both of his, squeezing it while he said : children probably wouldn't do that

''Wow, Tim, you make my day, boy! you have made my dayWe are sure like two drops of water! I'm Arthur by the way, my friends call me Art.'' He let go of my hand and we turned to the others. Mum and his dad were engaged in conversation, and Sian was explaining the situation to Harry, whose mouth stayed open in surprise as he stared from Arthur to me and back again. like this line

''Well'', Arthur's dad said, said Arthur's dad.''we must get going, but these boys will sure want to swap addresses.''

''Here'', Sian took out a pen and a notebook from her handbag.

   This is how it all started.


  
Title: Re: second draft : "Where I met my double"
Post by: MaryRuth on August 02, 2015, 04:12:56 AM
Sorry about the formatting, Catherine. Not sure what I was doing there! Trust it makes some sort of sense..  ::)
Title: Re: second draft : "Where I met my double"
Post by: Artemis Quark on August 02, 2015, 06:32:02 AM
Sorry about the formatting, Catherine. Not sure what I was doing there! Trust it makes some sort of sense..  ::)
Check for a misplaced or missing html closing [/b] for the bold font you used for your comment, MaryRuth. When you preview before posting it will show up. Here's an example where I started bold font at the word 'where' but never ended it, so bold continues to the end of this post.

Catherine, good job. Much improved. Keep at it.

AQ

Title: Re: second draft : "Where I met my double"
Post by: MaryRuth on August 02, 2015, 06:41:45 AM
Check for a misplaced or missing html closing [/b] for the bold font you used for your comment, MaryRuth. When you preview before posting it will show up. Here's an example where I started bold font at the word 'where' but never ended it, so bold continues to the end of this post.


Thanks, AQ. Will do so next time.  :)
Title: Re: second draft : "Where I met my double"
Post by: Artemis Quark on August 02, 2015, 06:45:07 AM
Thanks, AQ. Will do so next time.  :)
You're welcome.  ;D
Title: Re: second draft : "Where I met my double"
Post by: Alice, a Country Gal on August 02, 2015, 02:05:02 PM
The forum has several text changes set and ready to use if you wish.

In the text box when you are posting, take a look above the box. You'll see lots of little buttons just waiting for you to use. All you have to do is highlight (drag your mouse over) the text you wish to do something with, then click the appropriate button.

I can change this line to bold with a click of my finger.

I can even go back and also (when highlighted) and make any number of other changes. As you can see, I also changed the color and size of font.

If you click Quote after reading this (upper right hand corner above post) it will show up in a new text box and you will  see all the commands I managed by the click of a few buttons.

Hope this helps.

Title: Re: second draft : "Where I met my double"
Post by: MaryRuth on August 04, 2015, 03:36:24 AM
The forum has several text changes set and ready to use if you wish.

In the text box when you are posting, take a look above the box. You'll see lots of little buttons just waiting for you to use. All you have to do is highlight (drag your mouse over) the text you wish to do something with, then click the appropriate button.

I can change this line to bold with a click of my finger.

I can even go back and also (when highlighted) and make any number of other changes. As you can see, I also changed the color and size of font.

If you click Quote after reading this (upper right hand corner above post) it will show up in a new text box and you will  see all the commands I managed by the click of a few buttons.

Hope this helps.



Thanks very much, Alice. I'm a bit rubbish at these things! Silly question maybe, but does it make a difference if you're using an IPad?
Title: Re: second draft : "Where I met my double"
Post by: Artemis Quark on August 04, 2015, 08:59:16 AM
Thanks very much, Alice. I'm a bit rubbish at these things! Silly question maybe, but does it make a difference if you're using an IPad?

Hi MaryRuth,

I use an IPad 2 for most of my work. The buttons Alice points out work fine.

Example:

I highlighted some text in your post after hitting the quote button, then clicked the red 'A' button to select a different font (you need to change the default Verdana font by highlighting and deleting 'Verdana' and typing in your choice, like I chose Ariel in this example).

Then I clicked the I button to make the highlighted text iltalic followed by clicking the button with an A followed by the up and down arrow to change font size (default is 10 pts, I doubled it to 20).

And lastly, I clicked change color to make the highlighted text red. Note you don't have to re-select/highlight each time if the same group of text is what you want to change.

Just be sure the bracketed html codes show up in the right places. If the end tag, the tag that starts with a forward slash, /, is missing, then whatever change you've made will apply to the end of the post. Hope this is clear enough.

AQ

P.S. Sorry for the highjack, Catherine. Looking forward to your next edit after returning from no-screen holiday. Maybe this should be in the helpful hints thread? Alice, can you move it?
Title: Re: second draft : "Where I met my double"
Post by: Alice, a Country Gal on August 04, 2015, 12:13:28 PM
I'm glad AQ answered about the IPad because I don't use one, thus had no idea about the answer.

One of the great things about this site - we have so many active members that someone almost always knows the answer to such questions.  ;)
Title: Re: second draft : "Where I met my double"
Post by: Emery on August 06, 2015, 12:39:33 PM
I post this before going away for two weeks in a no-screen space-time. I am not too happy about it (the draft, not the space-time). I'll keep on working on it and try to go on with the story (but the ideas I come up with are more a matter of teenage literature). It will be back to paper and pen though!

Where I met my double

   I read once that we all have six doubles on earth. Chances to meet one  seem scarce indeed. I met mine, and it led me into much more trouble than you would imagine. Like h3k said, addressing the reader like this just turns me off. I like the opening line, but would probably work it in somewhere else.

   We were on the motorway, heading for the ocean in scorching heat I think you need a 'the scorching heat'. The lack of article either made me think something of the ocean or it brought up connotations of a dog in heat. Probably just me.. Mum was struggling to pass a speeding truck. My sister and I were fighting for space in the back seat, and Harry, Mum's new boyfriend, slept  next to her. Can you smooth out the preceding two lines?The car was packed up to the roof with tents, sleeping bags, surf boards and suitcases, so we hardly had any room for ourselves.

   ''I give up'', said Mum. ''Let's stop and have lunch, I'm tired  of driving.'' And she headed for the service area.

   I felt so jammed and scrambled that I burst out of the car before it was fully stopped, sighing with relief, and Sian, my sister, soon followed me. Meanwhile, Mum tried to wake up stupid Harry. I was looking for a public mist spray to cool down when I heard Sian exclaim : ''Watch, Mum, watch, he looks like Tim!'' I raised my eyes and I thought I saw myself across the parking lot.
   ''Incredible! Amazing!'', Mum repeated in awe. The boy was staring straight at me, while his father called to us : ''Brothers! Brothers !'' This might be me too, but if I saw a kid who looks just like my other kid my first reaction would be "what the fuck is going on here?" I wouldn't be hollering out 'brother, brother'. At worst, I would be looking at the mom and trying to place her. A college indiscretion catching up with you.

    It was a strange moment : I recognized everything in him, from his thin features to his tall figure, his thick hair and the way his neck stood between his broad shoulders. odd colon placement.Mum had already crossed the road to meet them, and Sian and I joined the small group. As I got closer, I could see that the ressemblance was uncanny: we were alike down to the last dimple!!--I hate exclamation points anytime they do not appear in quotes and even then put them under heavy scrutiny.
''Hi!'' I said, blushing. My head buzzed and my neck tingled with self-consciousness. Same thing here. Exclamation of Hi followed by shyness and self-consciousness doesn't jive for me.
''Hello me! I just couldn't believe my eyes when I saw you. What's your name?'' He seemed slightly older than me, and he was definitely less shy.And speaks like someone plucked from another century. To me, this is too well formed for the dialogue of a kid.

 ''I'm Tim''. I tried to sound jolly, but my voice squeaked.jolly works for describing Santa and fat, jovial people. Not so much here. I held out my hand, which he took between both of his, squeezing it while he said : I'm not feeling the colon.

''Wow, Tim, you make my day, boy! We are sure like two drops of water! I'm Arthur by the way, my friends call me Art.'' He let go of my hand and we turned to the others. Mum and his dad were engaged in conversation, and Sian was explaining the situation to Harry, whose mouth stayed open in surprise as he stared from Arthur to me and back again.

''Well'', Arthur's dad said, ''we must get going, but these boys will sure want to swap addresses.''

''Here'', Sian took out a pen and a notebook from her handbag.

   This is how it all started.



Again, I like the premise of the story and can see tons of directions you may go here. I forget if this is a short story or long piece; however, I would consider the opening a major scene. Deleting the first and last paragraphs, the total is 400 words. Say you edit out 10%, you've got approximately 350 words, over just about a page and a half, to accomplish a lot--orient the reader to time, space, scene, introduce major characters, introduce conflict, set a tone/mood/voice, etc.

The gist of this, I think you are looking at this as a way to start your story. The majority of what's really important happens after this scene, this is in essence a setup. At least, that's how you are writing it. I can tell you want this to be the hook and tee up what is coming next instead of allowing the scene to have enough meat and substance to stand on its own. I think you should focus more on the scene as an individual entity. Make it work with a beginning, middle, and end. Make sure you have enough conflict in someway (currently there is almost none). Let us linger in some of the big moments--spying the "twin", the interaction between them.

Anyway, just the way I see things. Good luck!
Title: Re: second draft : "Where I met my double"
Post by: Catherine F on August 17, 2015, 12:41:31 PM
Thank you to all of you for reviewing this second draft ! I took a long time acknowledging it, sorry about it.
Unmair and Lonnielong, I just want to say that in my part of the world/culture, young boys can blush out of embarrassment and a feeling of awkwardness, with no sexual connotation.
Shadowboxer thanks to you for your link.
Owl thanks for your comments, I am pleased that you  :D the blushing.
Clarius and H3k I agree about the rushed feeling you sense, I see exactly what you mean.
H3k, I'm into the punctuation problem : I've been directed to specialized sites, and I got hold of a copy of 'Elements of style'. Your comments are very helpful and I will carefully re-read them and use them.
Clarius, I put the 'Tales of  Hoffman' on my reading list, I read it a long time ago and have no precise memory. Then I'll look up for Freud's comments on it (I believe it is about 'The Sandman', isn't it?)
MaryRuth, don' worry about the formatting, I managed to read allright, thanks for your helpfull advice.
AQ I really appreciate your encouragement !
Emery, your comments are precious. I think you're right about the lack of conflict. The whole thing lacks structure and punch. I will consider rewriting it, but I find the more I come back on a text, the  more boring it becomes.
Title: Re: second draft : "Where I met my double"
Post by: RamblingRose on August 17, 2015, 12:56:52 PM
Good to see you back Catherine!  :)

I will consider rewriting it, but I find the more I come back on a text, the  more boring it becomes.

I too find myself revising and editing over and over, and then feeling like all the zest has gone out of the thing. Perhaps forget the opening, and write the rest (this is what I tell myself). Once the whole thing is written, perhaps what the first scene needs will then be clearer because it has the context of the whole to inform it.

Looking forward to reading more from you...
Title: Re: second draft : "Where I met my double"
Post by: Catherine F on August 17, 2015, 01:14:33 PM
You must be right RR. Maybe leave it to simmer a while before going back to it. We wouldn't want to stumble upon a writer's block, would we? ;D
Title: Re: second draft : "Where I met my double"
Post by: Simple Things on August 17, 2015, 01:39:47 PM
:) revisions - yes they can become dangerous. I usually critique with the meaning to apply on the next piece of writing, or perhaps to test out in a flash challenge. This way the original sense of your story doesn't get lost behind the voices of many. Sometimes it's even good to just send the story out, that way you'll have actual real-time reaction from a publisher. There are few things worse in writing, than looking at your piece after many revisions and not recognising a single word of your own.
Title: Re: second draft : "Where I met my double"
Post by: Catherine F on August 17, 2015, 03:34:25 PM
ST thank you for your last post, it helps take the pressure off  :)
Title: Re: second draft : "Where I met my double"
Post by: Clarius on August 18, 2015, 05:48:25 PM
Carry the advice forward into your next piece otherwise you'll end up like Camus' Grande,  a writer fowever polishing that first opening paragraph.
Title: Re: second draft : "Where I met my double"
Post by: Catherine F on August 18, 2015, 06:10:45 PM
Clarius this is exactly what I fear. But is Joseph Grand the ideal writer or a failure ? Anyway he sure tries. Like Sysiphe he keeps on rolling his rock up the mountain. And as my grand-mother used to say " Doing and undoing is still working" (Peneloppe may have said it also). It's getting late here, time to talk nonsense apparently... I'd better be off.
Title: Re: second draft : "Where I met my double"
Post by: Clarius on August 19, 2015, 08:43:11 AM
Clarius this is exactly what I fear. But is Joseph Grand the ideal writer or a failure ? Anyway he sure tries. Like Sysiphe he keeps on rolling his rock up the mountain. And as my grand-mother used to say " Doing and undoing is still working" (Peneloppe may have said it also). It's getting late here, time to talk nonsense apparently... I'd better be off.

My reading of Grande was of a pathetic, tragic figure, forever dreaming of that 'hat's off' moment that never came, who ultimately found redemption by turning that same obsessive perfectionism to fighting the plague. (Camus' book is going on my holiday reading list.)
Title: Re: second draft : "Where I met my double"
Post by: Catherine F on August 19, 2015, 01:30:24 PM
I'm not sure Clarius. I remember when I studied the Plague comments upon him being the real hero of the book, seen as a perfectionist on one hand, as an unhappy writer (a double of Camus sort of) on the other hand. For my part, I find beautiful in a sad sense his search/quest for the perfect rhythm in his first phrase. I'd probably need to read it again now, 30 or 40 years later : I may be stuck on a teenager's memory. ???
Title: Re: second draft : "Where I met my double"
Post by: Clarius on August 19, 2015, 01:46:11 PM
I'm not sure Clarius. I remember when I studied the Plague comments upon him being the real hero of the book, seen as a perfectionist on one hand, as an unhappy writer (a double of Camus sort of) on the other hand. For my part, I find beautiful in a sad sense his search/quest for the perfect rhythm in his first phrase. I'd probably need to read it again now, 30 or 40 years later : I may be stuck on a teenager's memory. ???

Maybe it's with hindsight I see him like that; like you I'm remembering through a prism of years. The book wasn't on the curriculum but a student teacher gave it me. One thing I think I remember was being told was about it all being an allegory for the Nazi occupation, or is that something else I'm misremembering? Anyway, thanks to the magic of modern tech it's now on my Kindle. Guess what next week's book of the week is.
Title: Re: second draft : "Where I met my double"
Post by: Catherine F on August 19, 2015, 02:40:18 PM
You're right about the Plague being an allegory of the Nazis ('the brown plague' I think they were called). You're also right about the magic of modern technology : yesterday I could read Jackson's "The Lottery" as soon as you mentionned it, because this short story exists in PDF ! The rest of the book I asked my library to get it for me. Should have it...next month ! And in french... So I might order it on line  ::)