Author Topic: Dear Hearts - a short story - please comment  (Read 5037 times)

Offline goldanon

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Dear Hearts - a short story - please comment
« on: January 20, 2006, 03:39:05 PM »
As the limit here is 500 words, I am instead posting a link to this story online. The story is about 6 pages long.  I would appreciate any comments, and if you start the thing but decide not to read it through, please let me know why (yuou were bored, confused??).  I know how to take a knock  - don't worrry about offending me.
 http://www.writingup.com/fggoldston/dear_hearts

Offline chillies

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Re: Dear Hearts - a short story - please comment
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2006, 05:06:59 PM »
Hi goldanon, I read the entire thing. It's got lots of atmosphere, and you feel like you're one of the family. I think however, that it probably could do with a slight edit, it seems over complicated somehow - I can't really explain it any clearer. Saying that, I think it's certainly got something.

chillies

Offline Sheree

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Re: Dear Hearts - a short story - please comment
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2006, 05:24:20 PM »
I think you might need to break this down into smaller posts for comments. There are several passages that need rewording either because they are too superfluous or in the passive voice, etc. Overall I think it works well, you just need to go through bit by bit and rearrange the furniture. :)

Offline goldanon

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Re: Dear Hearts - a short story - please comment
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2006, 03:27:22 AM »
thank you for reading Sheree.  I'm not sure I understand what you mean by "break it down into smaller posts for comments.  You mean post a couple of paragraphs? 

Offline goldanon

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Re: Dear Hearts - a short story - please comment
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2006, 03:29:56 AM »
thank you chilies.  I appreciate your reading and commneting on it.  Other than small edits (in my mind!) the thing I cna't seem to do just the way I want is the very opening paragraph.  It just feels a little melodramatic to me and I can't seem to 'fix' it!

Offline chillies

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Re: Dear Hearts - a short story - please comment
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2006, 08:17:52 AM »
You could try opening with the second paragraph - tucking the first one in later on. Incidentaly the first paragraph as is stands now, seems to be much to long and perhaps that is why is seems an upward struggle to get it right. My suggestion, for what it's worth, is to completely re-haul that paragraph. Also with the second paragraph now acting as the opening paragraph, I would be persuaded to make more of an issue about the  'nota' the first time I came across that word I knew it was something important. Just a thought anyway.

Good luck

chillies

Offline Rebecca Anne

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Re: Dear Hearts - a short story - please comment
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2006, 01:25:36 PM »
Hi Goldanon,
     I liked the first paragraph and wouldn't change it.  I thought it and the ending tied in nicely.  Beautifully, beautifully written.  I saw only a tiny thing I would change, maybe a quarter of the way down, in the sentence that goes "Then, as always the dramatist..." I would leave out the word "as."  Maybe a careful reread would turn up some other minor point, but in all, I loved it.
Rebecca Anne

Offline Sheree

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Re: Dear Hearts - a short story - please comment
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2006, 11:39:50 PM »
Goldanon, I did mean to break it down into smaller bits here at the forum, so that a fine toothed comb can be run through it. I think you need to rework it so that it flows better. Several times I had to stop, come out of the piece, and reread it. I understood what you were saying but was distracted by excessive words, the positioning of them, or long sentences. This is why I recommend breaking it down so that it is easier to spot the problems, rather than taking it as a whole. It is alot to go through in one sitting. But then again, taking it as a whole, I found that there were so many people introduced and so much going on that I couldn't always follow. I think part of that was because of the flashbacks, but there seemed to be alot happening in a short spand of time, I am afraid I didn't always connect the dots.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2006, 11:50:21 PM by Sheree »

Offline goldanon

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Re: Dear Hearts - a short story - please comment
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2006, 01:31:46 AM »
wow rebecca anne - thank you - i have gotten a lot of good feedback on this piece but always from people who knew my family, and I always wondered if it would get any reaction from those who don't.  I'm very happy to hear you reacted that way.

Offline goldanon

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Re: Dear Hearts - a short story - please comment
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2006, 01:38:12 AM »
Thank you Sheree and Chillies for taking the time - I know it's hard to take time out of what YOU'RE doing to look at someone else's stuff, and I appreciate the comments.
okay I get what you meant now, Sheree.  I hadn't thought to do it that way before, it's hard to take each paragraph objectively for me as one tends to flow into the next (in my mind...)
And CHILLIES! I'm about to re-read the thing for the gazilionth time, without the first paragraph - I can't imagine that it'll work, but If it does i'll send you many hugs and kisses...

Offline goldanon

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Re: Dear Hearts - a short story - please comment
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2006, 02:04:04 AM »
Oh man, Chillies - I just can't do it - I know the story too well - I'm going to have to print it out and pass it along to some trusted friends and see what they think about it without the first paragraph.  I tend to agree with you - that first paragraph always bothered me - i don't know why - I think because it sets the wrong tone - blick - But the thing is that my sisters having babies while I was waiting for them in Palma, thinking that I was waiting for them, while his death loomed over me - I always liked the idea, cause I didn't actually realize it until I wrote it.  But I still never was able to express it the way I wanted.  Maybe I became attached to the thing for the wrong reasons.  I'll try it...  I will pass the story along to friends who are unfamiliar with it and see how they react...  thank you.

Offline tigger

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Re: Dear Hearts - a short story - please comment
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2006, 05:12:51 PM »
Hey Goldanon,

I just went over and read your story. Chapter 9 of  Lorraine, a murder mystery. Have I got the right story? Because it didn't feel as though I was reading six pages worth. For me, that's a good sign. I didn't trudge through.

A have a few comments. Hmmm. Let me see if I can share them as I mean to...

1. I liked the descriptions. They were simple and clear.

2. I found the story pleasant to read, and rather entertaining in that, your main character is that man all women dread, that man who doesn't really 'care about them~and only sees them based on their physical appearances'. 

3. I'm thinking that the grammatical structure was lacking because it was a blog. Am I correct in thinking this? Or could you have placed the quotations and paragraphs in a more realistic platform?
(I've never read or written a blog before~so I'm not sure if they all look this way.)

4. I found the setting difficult to envision, not because it was an island, but because I've never heard of either that particular Island (if it is real), or the language that you were citing as being spoken. Were these elements fictitious? Perhaps this setting is on the other side of the world, a place I've neither studied nor heard about other than in your story...please clarify this for me.

5. The story is entertaining/fun. The reading is light. The main character seems to be the type who gets into a mess without effort, and this leaves a lot of room to play with.

What I couldn't conclude from what I read was: is this meant to be a serious plot? If this is a murder mystery, where is the murder? What did the ninth chapter have to do with anything in regards to the murder? And who is Lorraine?

When I came across Gaspar reaching for his money and finding his pockets empty~which from my point of view he deserved for drinking himself into oblivion~ I found the circumstance funny, a just dessert in light of the frivilous attitude to which Gaspar dedicated his night and how he would spend it. 

All in all, this isn't my regular read, but your work has potential. Let me know if you change it up. I'd like to re-read it!

Thanks for the invite...
tigger
:);)

Offline chillies

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Re: Dear Hearts - a short story - please comment
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2006, 03:11:19 AM »
Ok! my comments about that first paragraph may have been a little too 'cutting', why not try this? Take the first paragraph and try to split it into two or three smaller paragraphs trimming the words slightly as you go. You may find that smalller paragraphs will show you why it dosn't quite work the way you would like. Then join these small paragraphs back up, or see if they will slip seperately into the story at different stages.

chillies

Offline goldanon

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Re: Dear Hearts - a short story - please comment
« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2006, 03:36:20 AM »
Tigger - the 'story' you went to is an ongoing murder mystery that i have on the site.  You might have been confused because you were missingthe first 8 chapters - lol.  I am very glad you went to look at it and am very pleased with your comments.  The island is real - it is in the Mediterranean, a tiny little spec that sits next to Mallorca off the coast of Valencia (it's considered part of Catalunia).  The language I threw in there precisely because people don't realize that though it is a spanish island they speak their own dialect (which is a form of Catalna - more french than sapnish though - it's known as the 'soldiers latin'...  And nobody bothers to learn it (of the expatriates who live there) - it is done on purpose as my belief is that if I ever do publish it, they (the expats who live there) will be my main (maybe my only [sniff]) audience.
The blog loses all the formatting so that I would have to sit there online to write it, if I wanted to get the formatting correct and it is way too time consuming for me.  I went in and corrected the formatting to "Dear Hearts," which is the story I sent people to, because a few comments in here made me realize that the formatting was bad enough that some people couldn't follow the story (at least I hope that 's why) - just doing that took me about a half-hour.
Chapter nine was a bit sloppy - I rushed it out and you're right - I really need to get a description of the island in there - my perfect opportunity is when he leaves the 'finca,' and I had meant to re-write it, as soon as I get the next 3 chapters out of my head.  I really should have waited to post it, but I wanted to move on and since I  have so few reads right now, I figured I would just put it up there and get to work on the rest and then re-write it...  And then someone goes and reads it! LOL
I will repost it when I have done what I should do and let you know.
Thanks so much for reading it and taking the time to comment! ;D

Offline goldanon

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Re: Dear Hearts - a short story - please comment
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2006, 03:40:00 AM »
Chillies, I like youir idea and am going to try it. thank you - i tried to give you an encore but it will only let me give you one applause!