Author Topic: Opinion on my start to a short story  (Read 1004 times)

detectivearavind

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Opinion on my start to a short story
« on: February 12, 2012, 01:43:44 PM »
I have just started to write stories, and greatly appreciate any feedback, good or bad. ;D

thanks a lot.


Images of faces, faces I have never seen, places, places I have never been to, slowly move away from me. Darkness fills in as these images move away. I open my eyes, slowly gaining consciousness. I lay down the floor staring towards the ceiling, puzzled as to where I am and how I had gotten here. Gradually I turn my head sideways to find any clue as to my whereabouts. To my astonishment, I find a person lying dead beside me. That was the least of my trouble when I found out that my right hand was covered completely with blood and a knife beside it. I froze. What happened last night? Where was I? Who is this dead person? What should I do know?

The answers to these questions I did not know. However, I knew that I had to do something. I got up and found a washroom. After splashing ice-cold water onto my face, and cleaning the blood stain on my hand, I decided to that informing the police was the best thing I could do.  I pulled out my cellphone, and entered 9, entered 1. My mind hesitated, I couldn’t enter the last digit, and I dropped my phone. I wondered what I would say to the police. I didn’t know where I was and how I had gotten here. That would make me the primary suspect. I was ambivalent. This was my final year in high school and if I managed to stain my criminal record I will forever be ruined. Thinking about all the consequences of not going into a university caused me to panic. I decided to run away from the scene of crime. I ran, ran out of the house without realizing that I had left behind a something, something with a 9 and 1.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2012, 02:08:16 PM by detectivearavind »

Offline Laura H

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Re: Opinion on my start to a short story
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2012, 01:48:13 PM »
Hi detectivearavind,

I strongly encourage you to go introduce yourself on the welcome board http://www.mywriterscircle.com/index.php/board,1.0.html
Folks in the community are much more likely to offer feedback once they've met you and they know you're not just a drive by poster  ;D

Thanks & welcome~
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detectivearavind

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Re: Opinion on my start to a short story
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2012, 02:00:27 PM »
Hi detectivearavind,

I strongly encourage you to go introduce yourself on the welcome board http://www.mywriterscircle.com/index.php/board,1.0.html
Folks in the community are much more likely to offer feedback once they've met you and they know you're not just a drive by poster  ;D

Thanks & welcome~

Sure!  ;D

Offline 510bhan

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Re: Opinion on my start to a short story
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2012, 02:38:33 PM »
Hi detectivearavind, couple of things you might want to consider IMO.

The idea of questions is good, though I think it might be better if they could be posed as statements to make the reader speculate and wonder more.

The repeats at the beginning weren't to my taste and little things like 'slowly gaining consciousness' could be shown rather than told. If the character is regaining consciousness, were they knocked out by a blow or smothered with some sort of knock-out drops? Did they hit their head? Whatever happened to them, you could show them coming round with more references to their physical state -- pain, disorientation etc.

To my astonishment, I find a person lying dead beside me. -- I think anyone would be astonished! Show the astonishment -- also, how did you know the person was dead, is the MC a coroner or an expert of some sort?

I got up and found a washroom. -- Your MC is in a state of confusion and doesn't know where they are, so how could they conveniently find a washroom? If they did manage this, wouldn't they then have an idea of the type of building they were in, a hotel, school, hospital, office block?

This was my final year in high school and if I managed to stain my criminal record I will forever be ruined. -- Has the MC already got a record?

Despite the disorientation, I think your MC would be in more of a panic. Much of the phrasing in this piece is too 'distanced' from the reality of the situation.
For example . . . After splashing ice-cold water onto my face, and cleaning the blood stain on my hand, I decided to that informing the police was the best thing I could do.
This needs to have much more urgency and punch to it. Shorter sentences in completed actions [perfect past tense] would help the pace IMO.

The idea is good, just work on making a greater impact with it and let the reader see and experience what the MC is seeing and experiencing.

Good luck. ;) ;) ;) ;) ;)
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Offline mfarraday

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Re: Opinion on my start to a short story
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2012, 03:09:09 PM »
i like your piece, and i would recommend that you take all of Siobahn's suggestions to heart. she does an excellent critique/has great advice.

i think the only thing that stuck out for me was that a person would be more shaken up after finding themselves in a place they did not know, next to a dead body, stained with blood. i would probably not mention getting into university - a mundane detail that i don't think would occur to me if i just found myself in the same situation. yes, everyone wants to protect their future, but i think this character would be disoriented and terrified, and they would probably be having some disjointed thoughts, not practical ones.

i enjoyed your short piece. nice flash fiction. keep writing. 



Offline Katinka

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Re: Opinion on my start to a short story
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2012, 04:35:28 PM »
Racer
Images of faces, (why repetitions?) faces I have never seen, places, places I have never been to, slowly move away from me. Darkness fills in as these images move away. I open my eyes, slowly gaining consciousness. I lay (on the floor) delete( down)  the floor staring (at) towards the ceiling, puzzled as to where I am and how I had gotten here. awkward(Gradually I turn my head sideways to find any clue as to my whereabouts.) To my astonishment, I find a person lying dead beside me. delete( That was the least of my trouble when I found out that) my right hand was covered completely with blood and a knife(lay) beside it. I froze. What happened last night? Where was I? Who is this dead person? What should I do delete(k)now?

delete(The answers to these questions I did not know. However,) I knew that I had to do something. I got up and found a washroom. After splashing ice-cold water onto my face, and cleaning the blood stain on my hand, I decided delete(to that) informing the police was the best thing I could do.  I pulled out my cellphone, and entered 9, entered 1. delete(My mind hesitated,) I couldn’t enter the last digit, and I dropped my phone. I wondered what I would say to the police. I didn’t know where I was and how I had gotten here. That would make me the primary suspect. I was ambivalent. This was my final year in high school and if I managed to stain my delete(criminal) record I delete(will) (would) forever be ruined. Thinking about all the consequences of not going into a university caused me to panic. I decided to run away from the scene of (the) crime. I ran, delete(ran) out of the house without realizing that I had left behind a something, something with a 9 and 1.

okay, the story is interesting but needs corrections. Repetitious words don't do much for a story, they are rarely used. The old story: telling. It's more interesting when you show it, like watching a movie affects you.

Offline Butterfly21

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Re: Opinion on my start to a short story
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2012, 05:56:18 PM »
When this happens,

Images of faces, faces I have never seen, places, places I have never been to, slowly move away from me.

That's really the only thing I could notice and was bothered by.

Is there a reason you repeated words like that through the piece?

Otherwise beyond that, I see a lot of I usage which should be carefully monitored when writing first person.

On the other hand, I really liked this line,

That was the least of my trouble when I found out that my right hand was covered completely with blood and a knife beside it. I froze.

I think if you somehow rework this as the opening line, it'd draw a reader in straight away.

:)

Hope this helps.
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detectivearavind

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Re: Opinion on my start to a short story
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2012, 08:27:46 PM »
When this happens,

Images of faces, faces I have never seen, places, places I have never been to, slowly move away from me.

That's really the only thing I could notice and was bothered by.

Is there a reason you repeated words like that through the piece?

Otherwise beyond that, I see a lot of I usage which should be carefully monitored when writing first person.

On the other hand, I really liked this line,

That was the least of my trouble when I found out that my right hand was covered completely with blood and a knife beside it. I froze.

I think if you somehow rework this as the opening line, it'd draw a reader in straight away.

:)

Hope this helps.

Thanks a lot, Butterfly-18.

The whole point of the repeated words was to try to have an echo feeling that I recently observed in a book. I believe that it is not structured properly to produce the effect I want.

The "I" usage really bugs me too, and the first person narrative gives me little room to alter it. Will do my best to reduce it on my edited version..

I am glad that you like that line, it is also the personal favourite of mine.  It is a possibility that I could use that line to start and then have the recollection of memory part after.

Thanks again for your feedback, it really does help as I'm just a beginner. 

Offline Leanna

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Re: Opinion on my start to a short story
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2012, 08:44:36 PM »
Just one thing to add to what others have said, the person's hand is "covered completely with blood" and then he "splashes water on his face" (first before washing the blood, apparently). I immediately ask, "With all that blood on his hand he's splashing water on his face? Gross!" Then you add "washed the bloodstains." To me "bloodstains" means a few drops or smears, not "completely covered." Gosh, if I woke up to find my hand covered in blood, I would not be thinking about washing my face! I'd be frantically scrubbing the blood off my hand while screaming my head off or crying my eyes out... please give this guy some emotions!  
« Last Edit: February 12, 2012, 09:10:25 PM by Leanna »

Offline Butterfly21

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Re: Opinion on my start to a short story
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2012, 09:15:27 AM »
I wouldn't call myself a beginner, since I've been part of this site for a while and writing longer than that, but I don't know anything for sure myself.

I'm just glad some of what I said helped you. :)
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Offline minusthematt

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Re: Opinion on my start to a short story
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2012, 09:57:50 PM »
It personally doesn't do much for me. I get that you want to have a suspenseful opening, but you seem to be assuming that the situation is as much as an impact on the reader as it is on your protagonist. It's not. I don't know what's happening, but I'm not necessarily drawn in enough to care. Describe the scene a bit more, show the protagonist's astonishment. 'What happened last night?' implies that he knows what place of time he is in, which means that he has a bit of information that he is currently re-tracing in his mind. The reader doesn't get any of this. Why would a first person narrator be holding back his thoughts? There are possible reasons, but none that you are intending here.

'The answer to the questions I did not know' --- Yes, that's fairly obvious.

I don't want to discourage you, just try to work more on including things that are vital to the prose (such as actually showing the scene rather than just telling it) and getting rid of unimportant sentences (the repetition and the above mentioned sentence).

« Last Edit: February 13, 2012, 10:55:40 PM by minusthematt »

Offline Margarett

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Re: Opinion on my start to a short story
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2012, 07:51:50 PM »
Please feel free to ignore any or all of what I say... I am trying to learn things here myself.. Thanks for posting!


Images of faces, faces I have never seen, places, places I have never been to, slowly move away from me. Darkness fillsfiles in to take their place inside my aching head, as these images move away. I slowly opened my eyes. After, slowly re-gaining consciousness. I lay down on the floor staring towardsat the ceiling, puzzled as to where I am and how I had gotten here. Gradually I turn my head sideways to find any searching for a clue as to my whereabouts. To my astonishment, I find a person bloody corpse lying dead beside me. That was the least of my trouble when I found out that my right hand was covered completely with blood and a knife lay beside it. I froze. Questions; Who? What? Why? Where? All raced through my mind until I could no longer even think.
Dance in the raindrops. Slide down a rainbow. Make our world a more beautiful place. Keep a smile handy and give them away.
After all they are free!  " SMILE "