Author Topic: second draft : "Where I met my double"  (Read 5865 times)

Offline Catherine F

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second draft : "Where I met my double"
« 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.


  

Offline umair7

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Re: second draft : "Where I met my double"
« Reply #1 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
« Last Edit: August 01, 2015, 03:29:43 AM by umair7 »

Offline lonnielong

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Re: second draft : "Where I met my double"
« Reply #2 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.

Offline shadowboxer

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Re: second draft : "Where I met my double"
« Reply #3 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

Offline lonnielong

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Re: second draft : "Where I met my double"
« Reply #4 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.

Offline shadowboxer

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Re: second draft : "Where I met my double"
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2015, 06:59:36 PM »
Well, I'll just state that I disagree and keep it at that.

Offline Owl5986

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Re: second draft : "Where I met my double"
« Reply #6 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.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2015, 01:46:25 AM by Owl5986 »

hillwalker3000

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Re: second draft : "Where I met my double"
« Reply #7 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

Offline Clarius

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Re: second draft : "Where I met my double"
« Reply #8 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.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2015, 02:38:43 PM by Clarius »
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Offline MaryRuth

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Re: second draft : "Where I met my double"
« Reply #9 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.


  
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Offline MaryRuth

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Re: second draft : "Where I met my double"
« Reply #10 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..  ::)
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Re: second draft : "Where I met my double"
« Reply #11 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


Offline MaryRuth

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Re: second draft : "Where I met my double"
« Reply #12 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.  :)
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Re: second draft : "Where I met my double"
« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2015, 06:45:07 AM »
Thanks, AQ. Will do so next time.  :)
You're welcome.  ;D

Offline Alice, a Country Gal

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Re: second draft : "Where I met my double"
« Reply #14 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.

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