Author Topic: First Paragraph  (Read 20349 times)

Offline herron

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Re: First Paragraph
« Reply #90 on: November 27, 2010, 05:27:49 PM »
next part   ::)


     I looked down at Albertís body and, as tragic and terrible as the situation was, I realized I felt nothing inside, as if I were suddenly hollow. No sorrow. No sense of loss. I had more thoughts that day about his sisterís great legs than I did about Albert. It didnít occur to me to feel ashamed at the time, although I do now.

     Suddenly, I had nothing else to say Ė to anyone Ė and I began to feel hopelessly out of place. There were a lot of things I might have said to Albert (like, Iím proud of you), but he couldnít hear me anymore. He was dead. So was whatever tenuous bond had existed between us. Never very strong, it had pulled apart like gossamer thread and drifted away.

     None of the gang even showed up. I left the funeral home a few moments later without another word, and have never seen anyone in Albertís family again.

     What bothers me now is that it should bother me so much. We were not the best of friends.  He was hardly a friend at all, and not the easiest person to know, at that. I had half-heartedly tried to keep in touch, but Albert wouldnít answer my calls or letters after that night in the alley. When he went into the service, I finally stopped trying.  After he died, I never cried for him. I still canít. I went on with my life and almost forgot him.


almost at the end now....
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Offline 510bhan

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Re: First Paragraph
« Reply #91 on: November 27, 2010, 05:31:15 PM »
Oooh - Albert turns out to be a war hero!!! Great atmosphere/observations/reactions appropriate for the age of the mc at the time.

Didn't pick up anything immediately  -  smooth read for me. :-*

Offline herron

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Re: First Paragraph
« Reply #92 on: November 27, 2010, 05:35:53 PM »
last little bit........

     However, when I suddenly thought of him again after all these years I remembered talking to him, in confidence, about girls, particularly Janice, his half-sister. He had rolled in the dirt, laughing uncontrollably, when he realized I was saying I liked her. I remembered a trembling gray kitten, a tiny blue parrot, and a silent, dirty handshake. I had the most vivid image of him, an enraged boy defending his mother, swinging a shovel wildly at his stepfather until the police took him away. My memories also included an accusing cinder, crashing with metallic thunder in the night.

     I donít pretend to know what it was that made me think of Albert again after all this time. I forgot about him after the funeral, as if he had never existed. The world went on, with other wars and crises in the ensuing decades for new generations to think about.

     Yet I find, somehow, after all is said and done, now that Iíve started to feel old, I miss him. I see Albert differently, and wonder what kind of man he would really have become.

     I drove by the old neighborhood last night. Iím not sure why I did that, either. I have not been back there in such a long time. The house where I grew up is completely gone. So is the large oak tree that once dominated the front yard. Several other houses I remembered are gone, too. 

     Albertís house is still there. I just realized itís been a very long time since I thought of it as the old Cantwell place. The outside is painted differently but, other than that, it looks very much as it did all those years ago. There are even metal trash cans stored in the same spot in the back alley, sitting atop a rickety bench above the loose cinders.

     I almost caught myself looking for Albert.

     Mrs. Anchorís house is still there, too. I wish I could say the whole neighborhood hasnít declined, but it has, and her house is no exception. The current owners are not nearly as meticulous as she used to be. They havenít planted very much, and they donít seem to have ever fertilized the lawn. The yard looks pretty Spartan and run-down.  All the color she brought into our life for so long is missing. Except on the side drive, up against the rear gate, where I noticed there is still a lovely little patch of flowers.


                                                 *   *   *
web: Broken Glass
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Offline herron

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Re: First Paragraph
« Reply #93 on: November 27, 2010, 05:37:07 PM »
Oooh - Albert turns out to be a war hero!!! Great atmosphere/observations/reactions appropriate for the age of the mc at the time.

Didn't pick up anything immediately  -  smooth read for me. :-*

thanks ... I think it's harder when you don't see it all together ....    8)
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Offline 510bhan

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Re: First Paragraph
« Reply #94 on: November 27, 2010, 06:48:59 PM »
Okay - so this is the wind down phase....recollections springing to mind.

The world went on, with other wars and crises in the ensuing decades for new generations to think about. [The arrangement of words sounds awkward maybe all the 'w' words and the 'u' and 'o' sounds too... or something???]

Iím not sure why I did that, either. I have not been back there in such a long time. [Think this would read better as one sentence...as a tag on rather than a complete break - kind of stretch the thought.]

Albertís house is still there. I just realized itís been a very long time since I thought of it as the old Cantwell place. The outside is painted differently but, other than that, it looks very much as it did all those years ago. [perhaps change the second 'very'??? to 'pretty' or just omit it?]

All the color she had brought into our life for so long is missing.

Is this guy telling this over a pint or a pot of coffee?...I can see him and hear him so well. Guess it's my turn to get the re-fills in. :)

Thanks!

Offline herron

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Re: First Paragraph
« Reply #95 on: November 27, 2010, 09:10:15 PM »
Okay - so this is the wind down phase....recollections springing to mind.

The world went on, with other wars and crises in the ensuing decades for new generations to think about. [The arrangement of words sounds awkward maybe all the 'w' words and the 'u' and 'o' sounds too... or something???]

Iím not sure why I did that, either. I have not been back there in such a long time. [Think this would read better as one sentence...as a tag on rather than a complete break - kind of stretch the thought.]

Albertís house is still there. I just realized itís been a very long time since I thought of it as the old Cantwell place. The outside is painted differently but, other than that, it looks very much as it did all those years ago. [perhaps change the second 'very'??? to 'pretty' or just omit it?]

All the color she had brought into our life for so long is missing.

Is this guy telling this over a pint or a pot of coffee?...I can see him and hear him so well. Guess it's my turn to get the re-fills in. :)

Thanks!

Points well taken.  How did you feel about the story as a whole?  Did you get 'into' the story, or do you feel as if the teller is speaking to you?


Subtle changes to the ending:


     I donít pretend to know what it was that made me think of Albert again after all this time. I forgot about him after the funeral, as if he had never existed. The world continued, with different wars and other crises in the ensuing decades for new generations to think about.

     Yet I find, somehow, I miss him. Iíve started to feel old and I see him differently, and wonder what kind of man he could really have become.

     I drove by the old neighborhood last night. Iím not sure why Ö I have not been back there in such a long time. The house where I grew up is completely gone. So is the large oak tree that once dominated the front yard. Several other houses I remembered are gone, too. 

     Albertís house is still there. Albertís house. I realized itís been a very long time since I thought of it as the old Cantwell place. The outside is painted differently but it looks much as it did all those years ago. There are even metal trash cans stored in the same spot in the back alley, sitting atop a rickety bench above the loose cinders.

     I almost caught myself looking for Albert.

     Mrs. Anchorís house is still there, too. I wish I could say the whole neighborhood hasnít declined, but it has, and her house is no exception. The current owners are not nearly as meticulous as she used to be. They havenít planted very much, and they donít seem to have ever fertilized the lawn. The yard looks pretty Spartan and run-down. All the color she had brought into our lives for so long is missing. Except on the side drive, up against the rear gate, where there is still a lovely little patch of flowers.


                                                   *   *   *
web: Broken Glass
blog: Painting With Light
media: RLH Media
The Book of Face: R. Herron, Author
Tweets: @ronherron

Offline 510bhan

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Re: First Paragraph
« Reply #96 on: November 27, 2010, 09:20:53 PM »
Both - sort of like a voice over intro to a film while the scenes are being played out to fill in the background/set the scene then cut to the action. Suited me fine.

The 'voice-over' sounded relaxed and slightly world-weary [can't think of the right expression for this at the moment so that'll have to do - meant nicely not pissed-offedly - you'd think I'd know words wouldn't you? Imagine Samuel L Jackson's narrative tone in Shawshank Redemption] but then perked up with the recollections, heard the 'real-time' voices of the players in this drama, easily identified who was who and where they were coming from, could picture the scenes easily, enough detail without description overload to move from one thing to the next in easy transition.

Hope my blathering has been of some use. I really enjoyed all of this and you posted it well - episodic. :D :D :D :D

Offline herron

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Re: First Paragraph
« Reply #97 on: November 27, 2010, 09:27:09 PM »
Both - sort of like a voice over intro to a film while the scenes are being played out to fill in the background/set the scene then cut to the action. Suited me fine.

The 'voice-over' sounded relaxed and slightly world-weary [can't think of the right expression for this at the moment so that'll have to do - meant nicely not pissed-offedly - you'd think I'd know words wouldn't you? Imagine Samuel L Jackson's narrative tone in Shawshank Redemption] but then perked up with the recollections, heard the 'real-time' voices of the players in this drama, easily identified who was who and where they were coming from, could picture the scenes easily, enough detail without description overload to move from one thing to the next in easy transition.

Hope my blathering has been of some use. I really enjoyed all of this and you posted it well - episodic. :D :D :D :D

Thanks.  I've enjoyed the comments from everyone. You, Sio, have been particularly helpful.  
I would have posted it in its entirety, instead of in episodes, but the forum has an absurdly low word-count-per-post restriction.  ::) ;D

BTW - to be considered, even obliquely, to Shawshank Redemption makes me blush (feels good, too).   :) ;)

« Last Edit: November 27, 2010, 09:29:28 PM by herron »
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Offline 510bhan

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Re: First Paragraph
« Reply #98 on: November 27, 2010, 09:29:02 PM »
That would be Morgan Freeman - getting my 51st State mixed up with
A prison. Duh! Apologies.

PS What is the word total for the piece?

Offline herron

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Re: First Paragraph
« Reply #99 on: November 27, 2010, 09:32:09 PM »
Samuel L. Jackson should feel honored.   :D

Albert is just about 6200 words.
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Offline 510bhan

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Re: First Paragraph
« Reply #100 on: November 27, 2010, 09:35:03 PM »
Is he going to be part of a collection or now that you worked with him do you intend expanding on the adventures you have outlined?

Offline herron

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Re: First Paragraph
« Reply #101 on: November 27, 2010, 09:40:45 PM »
I have a lot of ideas based on similar characters.

BTW - a lot of Albert is true. Many of those 'adventures' came from real life (the best place to draw from).
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Offline 510bhan

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Re: First Paragraph
« Reply #102 on: November 27, 2010, 09:45:15 PM »
It'd be very easy to theme - either as snapshots of an era, geographical link or people who turn out different to perceived expectations- a bit like Roald Dahl's Tales of the Unexpected???

Offline herron

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Re: First Paragraph
« Reply #103 on: November 27, 2010, 09:50:49 PM »
It'd be very easy to theme - either as snapshots of an era, geographical link or people who turn out different to perceived expectations- a bit like Roald Dahl's Tales of the Unexpected???

Some of Dahl's works seem a bit - macabre (that might not be the right word ... but the only story that comes to mind is Lambs to the Slaughter).  But I have thought of a series that includes other stories and poems.
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Offline 510bhan

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Re: First Paragraph
« Reply #104 on: November 27, 2010, 09:58:58 PM »
I didn't mean directly like RD anyway you already have Toothpick Man, Mrs Nice lady with the garden, Albert's military buddy, the Principal, Puz, his uncle, Julie, Albert's mum, his real dad, the kid who disappeared already mentioned and that's off the top of my head - probably the vet, the banker, the dentist, the sheriff and the doctor all have tales from the town too.

That's 15x6k= 90,000 words!!!!!!!!!!!!!