Author Topic: I Swear, wip, 8th edit, #106, 1372 words, mild swearing plus one F word  (Read 27503 times)

hillwalker3000

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Re: I Swear, wip, 6th edit, #85, inc intro, 1427 words, mild swearing
« Reply #90 on: January 02, 2013, 07:57:28 AM »
'me ma' or 'me mam' - it matters not as long as you are consistent.

This 6th redraft is so much better. Now it's probably ready to be ripped to shreds by a copy-editor.
Don't think you've finished with it. This is just the start.  ;D

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Offline 510bhan

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Re: I Swear, wip, 6th edit, #85, inc intro, 1427 words, mild swearing
« Reply #91 on: January 02, 2013, 07:58:12 AM »
Yep -- getting better each time. I still feel there are some superfluous parts and a couple of areas where you tell rather than show which should either be cut or tweaked, but you obviously like them.

You've done a good job on the tenses . . . can you see for yourself where and why now?

Offline bri h

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Re: I Swear, wip, 6th edit, #85, inc intro, 1427 words, mild swearing
« Reply #92 on: January 02, 2013, 08:03:51 AM »
no, but I'll keep looking till I see! ha ha.  I'll print the last version off and then come back to it at a later date and then see if it still looks as good. As usual, you two have led me by a meandering path to this point, and as usual again I struggled with your concepts like the unhappy uneducated fool that I am. But once again youve both(and the others) showed me the strengths and weaknesses of it, and I'll be eternally grateful to yous. One last thing, for my own reference, whats the best? Show? or Tell? I cant remember, I think its show with a little bit of tell, is that right? respec.
Fare thee well Skip. We're all 'Keening' now. xbx

Offline 510bhan

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Re: I Swear, wip, 6th edit, #85, inc intro, 1427 words, mild swearing
« Reply #93 on: January 02, 2013, 08:09:51 AM »
Correct -- balance and variety -- tell it if it needs to shift things on but show all the good stuff to make the reader feel part of the scene. ;)

Offline bri h

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Re: I Swear, wip, 6th edit, #85, inc intro, 1427 words, mild swearing
« Reply #94 on: January 02, 2013, 08:34:34 AM »
will try to remember that nex time I do a crit on YOUR work! ha ha, cheers shvon. xxxx
Fare thee well Skip. We're all 'Keening' now. xbx

Offline Dawn

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Re: I Swear, wip, 6th edit, #85, inc intro, 1427 words, mild swearing
« Reply #95 on: January 02, 2013, 08:56:43 AM »
I promised I would look at this for you, buddy. All just my opinion as usual. Definitely getting tighter.

I swear


South Shields, 1967. I leaned against our back gate, acting the big man in front of the bloke next door. Mouthing off to him and swearing even though he'd already complained a couple of times to Mam about my bucket-mouth. Repeating all the foul words I'd heard recently, thinking I was so big and clever, the other kids looked on. They were keen to see what happened next. Altercations in those days before telly, always attracted a small crowd.

I should have realised something bad was coming my way when their eyes widened in shock. But I was too busy showing off until someone's hand grabbed my collar, yanked me off my feet, and hauled me through the gate.

Mam had seen through all my lies in the past. She'd known I'd swear again, because I'd repeatedly promised her that I had never sworn at anyone at all! (still could be tighter maybe Id repeatedly promised Id never sworn at anyone)She knew, intuitively the way that all mothers did, that I lied a lot, so she'd hidden on the other side of the gate and heard my performance.

She dragged me across the yard to the back steps. I was blubbering and pleading with her, that I'd be good from then on. I'd have sworn to anything to avoid what was coming next. But soon my heels were thumping on the rickety stairs as the fading light from the back door illuminated the cobwebs in the roof amid the dirt and stains. I lost a plimsoll on the way when it snagged on a crack in the stair riser, but that didn't slow Mam down as she hauled me like a sack of spuds into the scruffy scullery.

She'd warned me endlessly that if she caught me swearing, she'd wash my mouth out with Carbolic Soap. If everyday soap could be categorized as nice and sweet (sorry still dont like nice) soft and gentle, perfumed and refreshing, then Carbolic was the total opposite: Blocky, rough, smelling of disinfectant, lather-less, industrial cleaner, and generally horrible. Carbolic was the skinhead of soaps, and I was about to have a meal of it!

I could tell Mam meant business because she took the dirty plates out of the sink and smashed them to the floor in temper. Oh Gawd, I was in big trouble. I just stood looking at her, hoping that if I looked dejected enough she'd relent but she didn't. She yanked me by the collar and the seat of my pants. When she had her mad on (could maybe do with a comma) she could be a strong bugger! Quite (you could get rid of quite) scary in fact. Then she slammed me onto the damp, smelly drainer, like a butcher slapping a hunk of beef onto a chopping-block. The dampness seeped into my clothes, as my head drooped into the big china sink. Mam mustn't have liked the position I was in because she couldn't get a strong enough hold on me, so she dragged me further (I always thought distance was farther?) up the drainer, scattering the greasy pans and plates that were (get rid of that were) by the sink waiting to be washed, until I was directly under the brass tap.

I fought her even harder. On the drainer, I struggled and wriggled,(needs a space)trying to shake free of Mam's strong, polished-finger-nailed hand that held me by the throat, I could feel her fingernails digging into my neck, and they hurt.
But Mam still managed to keep me positioned and I fought her back despite my struggles to keep my head away from the sink edge.
Pans and plates scattered, clattering everywhere as my legs and feet thrashed wildly, she fought to keep me positioned and I fought back to keep my head away from the tap.

She reached over me and turned the tap on, there was a clunk as the air was released and I heard the water surging up the pipe. Then a single drop gathered on the end, and I thought I'd been saved, sometimes the water didn't flow on certain days, due to low pressure and I thought to myself that this was one of those times. But alas for me, not that day!

The treacherous water gushed out of the tap, soaking my head and neck. For a brief second the coldness of the water (do you need the water as we know your by the tap?) froze me where I lay. I now spluttered and spat as I continued to cry and begged Mam to let me go. But once Mam made up her mind to do something she did it.
All the while Mam was shouting at me at the top of her voice (bit clichd sorry) "I'll teach you to f***ing swear you little bas***d! You won't f***ing swear again, will you? You f***ing little shite!"

I heard snippets of distant shouts drifting up the stairs. "Go on Mim, give the little bugger what for!" or "Teach the little bugger a lesson he wont forget!"

I jammed my mouth closed with a snap. I knew she couldn't shove the soap between my lips if they were closed tight.
"Open up, and this'll go easier on you!" shouted Mam.

At that point, three pit ponies wouldn't have got me to open my gob.
"Open your mouth" she repeated quieter.

I remember defiantly staring at her, if it could be called a stare? I had to keep blinking to keep the splashes of water out of my eyes. My lips were still wedged shut, but at the same time I tried to dodge the water that still gushed out of the tap.

Then she leaned down, got right in my face, until we were practically nose to nose and she repeated in a really strange quiet-like voice,
"Brian, open your mouth," then she gave me one of those rictus-smiles where I knew she was also gritting her teeth. I was really scared then!
Anyone who's experienced a stern-loving Mother like this will know exactly what I'm talking about. This was ( I would get rid of This was and just have The killer smile gives more impact)the killer-smile. That brooked no more arguments, no resistance, no bullshit. This kind of calm command had to be obeyed, or woe betide anyone (get rid of anyone). I knew then it was no good. I had to give in or it would be worse for me.

I stammered a quick "Please Mam," but instantly she jammed the Carbolic Soap into me gob! Oh she could be so quick! I gagged, I knew for sure I was going to die. She began rubbing and drubbing like wash day on a Monday, while humming some obscure song. Her eyes, normally blue and pretty, were just slits in her face. I was familiar with that look as well. (could be worded better)Meanwhile (comma) I begged and sobbed and got myself worked up into a lather, I felt really sorry for myself then. The bar was wedged between my teeth, she really put some elbow grease into it. The taste was horrible, like sucking on a toilet urinal cake, and trying like frig not to swallow. She was determined though, she was going to teach me a lesson, even if it meant someone reporting her to the National Assistance.

Finally( comma) it was over. She stood me on my feet. I, of course, being the devious little git that I am, wobbled a bit, and looked about to faint.( Okay Im not getting how this is devious?) Mam gathered me in her arms, all contrite, guilt could be a good commodity when you were eight and knew how to wield it. She wrapped me in her arms cooing to me and telling herself what a horrible person she felt for inflicting this on her poor child I made a cardinal error. I smiled, thinking to myself of how I could turn this to my advantage? (could you not show this by using internal thoughts? How could I use this to my advantage?[/i]She saw this and instantly reverted to Were-Mam, my arse was back on that draining board in a flash. She had the Carbolic Soap in her hand ready to "wash" me again. I looked on with what I can only now describe as a futile-acceptance of something uncontrollable. She saw this, and slowly dropped the bar onto the floor, looked at me with a little discomfort and possibly shame on her face and told me to get off the drainer myself. This wasn't easy, there being no stool or chair to climb down, but I eventually managed and stood in front of her.

I hung my head, I was totally knackered by my exertions and swore on the Bible that I wouldn't ever swear again. She stood in front of me with her hands on her hips, her foot constantly tapping its temper-fuelled rhythm. I knew I could still be in trouble so I said nothing. She shook her head slowly, sighed and said quietly "Eee, our Brian, what am I going to do with you?"
Time to take it serious and get the job done

Offline 510bhan

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Re: I Swear, wip, 6th edit, #85, inc intro, 1427 words, mild swearing
« Reply #96 on: January 02, 2013, 09:02:54 AM »
I hung my head I was and, totally knackered by my exertions, and swore on the Bible that I'd never wouldn't ever swear again. She stood in front of me [unless she has gone somewhere, the reader would expect her to be there] With her hands on her hips, her foot constantly tapping its temper-fuelled rhythm, I knew I could still be in trouble so I said nothing. She shook her head slowly, and sighed, and said quietly "Eee, our Brian, what am I going to do with you?"

hillwalker3000

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Re: I Swear, wip, 6th edit, #85, inc intro, 1427 words, mild swearing
« Reply #97 on: January 02, 2013, 09:13:46 AM »
Show? or Tell? I cant remember, I think its show with a little bit of tell, is that right? respec.

Tell is where the author tells us what's happening - like a reporter. It's ok for action sequences, or in thrillers where the reader needs to be fed a lot of information quickly. But feeding too much background this way - like in an info dump - is a sign of unoriginal writing.

Show is where we are shown the action or emotions through one of the character's behaviour or dialogue, etc. It works better because the reader feels they are there at the heart of things instead of reading about everything second-hand.

H3k
« Last Edit: January 02, 2013, 11:52:43 AM by hillwalker3000 »

Offline bri h

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Re: I Swear, wip, 6th edit, #85, inc intro, 1427 words, mild swearing
« Reply #98 on: January 02, 2013, 11:00:47 AM »
to the three of you, I see what you mean. I agree with the tightening ups as well(who are you?)ha. This will never be finished, just close. ha ha. got a surprise visit off me sis, this last hour, she lived with nanna when all this was going on and she got a bit teary when she read what I put, so it does have the "power" ha. Thanks guys. x
Fare thee well Skip. We're all 'Keening' now. xbx

Offline bri h

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Re: I Swear, wip, 7th edit, #90, 1510 words, mild swearing plus one F word
« Reply #99 on: January 02, 2013, 01:41:58 PM »
I swear


South Shields, 1967. I leaned against our back gate, acting the big man in front of the bloke next door.  Mouthing off to him and swearing even though he'd already complained a couple of times to Mam about my bucket-mouth.  Repeating all the foul words I'd heard recently, thinking I was so big and clever, the other kids looked on. They were keen to see what happened next. Altercations in those days before telly, always attracted a small crowd.

I should have realised something bad was coming my way when their eyes widened in shock. But I was too busy showing off until someone's hand grabbed my collar, yanked me off my feet, and hauled me through the gate.

Mam had seen through all my lies in the past.  She'd known I'd swear again, because I'd repeatedly promised her that I had never sworn at anyone at all!
She knew, intuitively the way that all mothers did, that I lied a lot, so she'd hidden on the other side of the gate and heard my performance.

She dragged me across the yard to the back steps.  I was blubbering and pleading with her, that I'd be good from then on. I'd have sworn to anything to avoid what was coming next. But soon my heels were thumping on the rickety stairs as the fading light from the back door illuminated the cobwebs in the roof amid the dirt and stains.  I lost a plimsoll on the way when it snagged on a crack in the stair riser, but that didn't slow Mam down as she hauled me like a sack of spuds into the scruffy scullery.

She'd warned me endlessly that if she caught me swearing, she'd wash my mouth out with Carbolic Soap. If everyday soap could be categorized as nice and sweet, soft and gentle, perfumed and refreshing, then Carbolic was the total opposite:  Blocky, rough, smelling of disinfectant, lather-less, industrial cleaner, and generally horrible. Carbolic was the skinhead of soaps, and I was about to have a meal of it!

I could tell Mam meant business because she took the dirty plates out of the sink and smashed them to the floor in temper.  Oh Gawd, I was in big trouble.  I just stood looking at her, hoping that if I looked dejected enough she'd relent but she didn't. She yanked me by the collar and the seat of my pants. When she had her mad on she could be a strong bugger!  Quite scary in fact.  Then she slammed me onto the damp, smelly drainer, like a butcher slapping a hunk of beef onto a chopping-block. The dampness seeped into my clothes, as my head drooped into the big china sink. Mam mustn't have liked the position I was in because she couldn't get a strong enough hold on me, so she dragged me further up the drainer, scattering the greasy pans and plates that were by the sink waiting to be washed, until I was directly under the brass tap.

I fought her even harder. On the drainer, I struggled and wriggled,trying to shake free of Mam's strong, polished-finger-nailed hand that held me by the throat, I could feel her fingernails digging into my neck, and they hurt.
But Mam still managed to keep me positioned and I fought her back despite my struggles to keep my head away from the sink edge.
Pans and plates scattered, clattering everywhere as my legs and feet thrashed wildly, she fought to keep me positioned and I fought back to keep my head away from the tap.

She reached over me and turned the tap on, there was a clunk as the air was released and I heard the water surging up the pipe. Then a single drop gathered on the end, and I thought I'd been saved, sometimes the water didn't flow on certain days, due to low pressure and I thought to myself that this was one of those times. But alas for me, not that day!

The treacherous water gushed out of the tap, soaking my head and neck. For a brief second the coldness of the water froze me where I lay.  I now spluttered and spat as I continued to cry and begged Mam to let me go.  But once Mam made up her mind to do something she did it.
All the while Mam was shouting at me at the top of her voice, "I'll teach you to f***ing swear you little bas***d! You won't f***ing swear again, will you?  You f***ing little shite!"

I heard snippets of distant shouts drifting up the stairs.  "Go on Mim, give the little bugger what for!" or "Teach the little bugger a lesson he wont forget!"
 
I jammed my mouth closed with a snap. I knew she couldn't shove the soap between my lips if they were closed tight.
"Open up, and this'll go easier on you!" shouted Mam.

At that point, three pit ponies wouldn't have got me to open my gob.
"Open your mouth" she repeated quieter.

I remember defiantly staring at her, if it could be called a stare? I had to keep blinking to keep the splashes of water out of my eyes. My lips were still wedged shut, but at the same time I tried to dodge the water that still gushed out of the tap.

Then she leaned down, got right in my face, until we were practically nose to nose and she repeated in a really strange quiet-like voice,
"Brian, open your mouth," then she gave me one of those rictus-smiles where I knew she was also gritting her teeth. I was really scared then!
Anyone who's experienced a stern-loving Mother like this will know exactly what I'm talking about.  This was the killer-smile. That brooked no more arguments, no resistance, no bullshit. This kind of calm command had to be obeyed, or woe betide anyone. I knew then it was no good. I had to give in or it would be worse for me.

I stammered a quick "Please Mam," but instantly she jammed the Carbolic Soap into me gob!  Oh she could be so quick!  I gagged, I knew for sure I was going to die.  She began rubbing and drubbing like wash day on a Monday, while humming some obscure song. Her eyes, normally blue and pretty, were just slits in her face. I was familiar with that look as well.
Meanwhile I begged and sobbed and got myself worked up into a lather, I felt really sorry for myself then. The bar was wedged between my teeth, she really put some elbow grease into it. The taste was horrible, like sucking on a toilet urinal cake, and trying like frig not to swallow. She was determined though, she was going to teach me a lesson, even if it meant someone reporting her to the National Assistance.

Finally it was over. She stood me on my feet. I, of course, being the devious little git that I am, wobbled a bit, and looked about to faint. Mam gathered me in her arms, all contrite, guilt could be a good commodity when you were eight and knew how to wield it. She wrapped me in her arms cooing to me and telling herself what a horrible person she felt for inflicting this on her poor child I made a cardinal error. I smiled, thinking to myself of how I could turn this to my advantage?

She saw this and instantly reverted to Were-Mam, my arse was back on that draining board in a flash. She had the Carbolic Soap in her hand ready to "wash" me again. I looked on with what I can only now describe as a futile-acceptance of something uncontrollable. She saw this, and slowly dropped the bar onto the floor, looked at me with a little discomfort and possibly shame on her face and told me to get off the drainer myself.  This wasn't easy, there being no stool or chair to climb down, but I eventually managed and stood in front of her.

I hung my head, I was totally knackered by my exertions and swore on the Bible that I wouldn't ever swear again. She stood in front of me with her hands on her hips, her foot constantly tapping its temper-fuelled rhythm.  I knew I could still be in trouble so I said nothing. She shook her head slowly, sighed and said quietly "Eee, our Brian, what am I going to do with you?"

In 1993, when we buried me Mam who'd died from Cancer, I was reminded of the taste of that Soap in me gob.  We'd gathered in me Ma's sitting room for her wake.  I told the rest of the family about what she'd done, but me Aunty Syl asked the question.
"Did it work then?  did she teach you to stop swearing?"
All their eyes were on me again as I pondered her question. It didn't take long to answer.
"Did she Fuck!"
Fare thee well Skip. We're all 'Keening' now. xbx

Offline bri h

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Re: I Swear, wip, 7th edit, #90, 1510 words, mild swearing plus one F word
« Reply #100 on: January 02, 2013, 01:57:03 PM »
I left out this bit cos it takes you out of the swearing theme-thingy and I didn't want it to be more sadder than it was.  Me Ma saved glass bells and she had a good hundred or so, and she arranged with me aunty Syl that she'd pass them out to us all after the funeral, with the words
"When you ring this, I'll be thinking of you" it took Syl all her strength just to get the words out, she had to struggle a few times to do it. I'll always love me aunty Syl for doing this. Me n her were always on the same wavelength. Of course, after that it set us all crying again, then me aunty Syl uttered the immortal words,(to me) 
 "Oh stoppit the lot of you's!  You'd think someone had died, the way youre all gannin on!" I felt her pain at the time and ever since then. So I left all that out.  Good decision do you think? bri
Fare thee well Skip. We're all 'Keening' now. xbx

hillwalker3000

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Re: I Swear, wip, 7th edit, #90, 1510 words, mild swearing plus one F word
« Reply #101 on: January 02, 2013, 01:59:52 PM »
Good decision.

I'm still curious why you needed to mention in the story that your mother died of cancer. It's relevant in your family's history obviously, but irrelevant as far as the story's concerned. You need to look closer at why you're sharing certain memories with your audience. Is it for our benefit or yours?

H3K 

Offline bri h

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Re: I Swear, wip, 7th edit, #90, 1510 words, mild swearing plus one F word
« Reply #102 on: January 02, 2013, 02:36:19 PM »
I think in this instance phil it can be both. the words "died from Cancer" has a finality about it that(Mebbee just to me) have a suddn stop feel to em, just a hunch on my part, like all me descrips, they can be pared. I think the word "cancer" has a power that conjures all kinds of scenes to different people. I'll think about it a bit more. Did you like the end of it with the extra bit on it the way I described it? What I mean is, does the interpretation sound like me, or you? b
Fare thee well Skip. We're all 'Keening' now. xbx

Offline junel

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Re: I Swear, wip, 7th edit, #90, 1510 words, mild swearing plus one F word
« Reply #103 on: January 02, 2013, 02:40:31 PM »
Hi Brianh,

South Shields, 1967. I leaned against our back gate, acting the big man in front of the bloke next door.  Mouthing off to him and swearing even though he'd already complained a couple of times to Mam about my bucket-mouth.  Repeating all the foul words I'd heard recently, thinking I was so big and clever, the other kids looked on. They were keen to see what happened next. Altercations in those days before telly, always attracted a small crowd.

Underlined part -- Would be better 'shown' than 'told'.

Quick e.g.: I leaned against our back gate, chewing gum and eyeballing the bloke next door.

Blue parts -- Three repetitions of the same thought.

Mouthing off to him and swearing; my bucket-mouth; Repeating all the foul words, all say you were 'swearing'. Don't need to be told so many times. Better sentence structuring would fix this. I understand this is written in regional talk, but the repetitiveness isn't adding to the dialect's charms.

Maroon parts -- Again, two repetitions of the same thought.

Navy part -- Do you mean before the telly was invented? Or before they were about to watch telly? It's not clear.

Hope something helps.

Junel.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2013, 02:56:01 PM by junel »

Offline bri h

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Re: I Swear, wip, 7th edit, #90, 1510 words, mild swearing plus one F word
« Reply #104 on: January 02, 2013, 02:55:47 PM »
Hey Junel, I liked what you did there, that was good adv and I loved the key, but next time I think it would be easier if you put the key at the top so I could just acroll down and read your crit at the same time, instead of jumping from top to bottom to top again. Cheers bri.
Fare thee well Skip. We're all 'Keening' now. xbx