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Old Feb 1 2007, 01:33 AM   #1
makenzie71
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Default first segment from my newest short story...

Total is going to be 15~20,000 words. I hate stepping away from my novel for a while but I just HAVE to write this out. It's basically a rather random dream of my sister's...a dark comedy that will involve some supernatural stuff. I'll post it all here to share...

...no editing. My works are edited upon completion to prevent me from going back and rewriting everything. Plus this is all written in a rush...I'll be done with it by tomorrow evening, Friday morning at the latest. Commentary on the content is appreciated, though.

Quote:
One of Jack’s favorite places to idle his remaining years by was at the lakeside dock Beth, his daughter and only child, owned. He spent many days here with line and lure cast over the waters, silently waiting for one of God’s creatures to succomb to it’s hunger and, thus, ease Jack’s. The only thing remaining in his life that he loved more than fishing was eating the fish he caught. He licked his lips in anticipation for what he hoped would be a good catch. He had a good feeling about today.

Behind him he heard the sounds of his granddaughters playing in the yard with one of the neighbor’s boys. He wondered where Adam, his oldest grandchild, was hiding at. He knew the need of privacy for a nine year old boy was negligable but he kept a lingering feeling of regret at taking his room. After Patricia, Jack’s wife, had passed away, Beth insisted he move in with her and her family. Beth’s husband had died several years earlier and she welcomed the idea of having a man in the house to give guidance to the children. Jack always had a nagging feeling that he was doing nothing but disrupting their lives, that he was only tolerated out of pity. He shook his head and turned back to the lake.

The waters here offered something else to puzzle Jack’s mind. He couldn’t understand why Beth had insisted on staying here. It was her dream home, yes, but the propperty was now ten times what they paid for it and he had yet to find out how his daughter could look everyday upon the waters that took her husband’s life.
“Fishing accident,” Jack grunted in disgust. “It was an idiot’s accident.” Travis had paddled his little boat over the water five years earlier and behaved like a fool. Somehow he managed to fall out of the boat upon the only cypress stump within miles and, consequent to his lack of sobriety and the blow to his skull, he drowned. Jack had sorrow for his daughter, but he held great resentment toward Travis.

His reverie into the past was broken as his fishing pole jerked toward the water. He could feel his pace quicken slightly and thoughts of fried catfish filled his mind. The pole jerked again, and it was a powerful pull. It was a big one. He didn’t like the really bigs ones out of this lake so much because they tended to be garbage-fish, as he called them. They ate the carrion and trash that sifted to the lakebed instead of swimming after living, healthy prey. It was fish all the same. The pole jerked again with unexpected violence and Jack stood to better brace himself against the pull. The fish fought hard against the line, further setting the hook, and Jack fought to keep the situation within his control. Jack felt the fish lessen his efforts and, after a moment, calmed. This was the point in the battle he always patiently waited for. After the fish was tired he could reel it in with less effort.

Jack cautiously moved his right hand from the pole and gripped the reel, slowly cranking it to pull the slack out of the line. Again the fush fought, again it’s strength was unexpected. Jack’s grip was compramised this time, though, and the unexpected movement jerked the pole from his hands. The pole struck the water and he cursed vehemently. It was his favorite pole. He stepped into the chilled water of the lake without hesitation, reaching for the pole. Just as he had it again in his hand the fish jerked it again and, this time, Jack’s body went after it. His balance compramised as he reached forward, he fell face first into the merky water. His ears immediately began ringing and his forhead seemed to burn. He forced himself back up to his feet and he looked down. Just beneath the water he could see the ominous horn of a nearby cypress tree. His left eye clouded with red and his touched his forhead. He hissed with the contact as though the wound were just now created. He had hit the stump hard and his skin was torn. Looking out he could see his favorite pole moving further and further across the water.

He looked back down into the water and cursed again. More infuriating than his injury was that he had spent years cursing his son-in-law for so similar an accident. His vision began to blur, though, and he decided he’d better move out of the water quickly. He tried to turn around but his foot tangled in another unseen mass and he again fell into the water. His movements were sluggish now and he could not help but inhale as his head went beneath the water a second time. He rose coughling and sputtering, but panic gripped him and his movemetns were random and wild. His head went under the water a second time and almost instantly he became detached from his senses. For no better description, he felt as though he simply went to sleep.
sorry indents don't work in vb...
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Old Feb 1 2007, 04:22 AM   #2
Kath
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Default Re: first segment from my newest short story...

Firstly, it really, really, really needs a lot of editing. Given the mess it's in at the moment, it's very hard to give it a decent review/constructive criticism. I'm not convinced by the pacing and the amount of information provided in this first excerpt. It may work, but it's hard to say right now, as the linguistic flaws are too overwhelming for me.

Show me an edited version when you've got one, and I'll be able to see what's going on with it much more clearly.
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Old Feb 1 2007, 05:18 AM   #3
makenzie71
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Default Re: first segment from my newest short story...

meh...biggest problem is that it's got too many words...will fix later. Trying to focus on finishing.

In all, the concept is interesting...no doubt...but it's surreal. Most people won't dig it because of that. I'm writing it at request and it's not my style so I'm not too confident in being able to pull it off correctly.
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Old Feb 1 2007, 08:28 AM   #4
edith
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Default Re: first segment from my newest short story...

I like surreal but that wasn't! As Kath says it needs editing, puilling together some of the very short sentences for a start! It's very choppy.

Quote:
silently waiting for one of God’s creatures to succomb to it’s hunger
use its not it's

Quote:
He wondered where Adam, his oldest grandchild, was hiding at.
remove the AT, it might be an Americanism but it doesn't make a nice sentence.

there's two for a start from a quick read-through, and it's compromised! You've mis-spelled it several times.
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Old Feb 1 2007, 05:11 PM   #5
Anneli
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Default Re: first segment from my newest short story...

I agree with Kath and Edith. I know you said you don't edit until you're finished, but I find it too difficult to follow in the unedited form, especially distracted by the grammatical errors and typos, that I really can't give you any constructive feedback
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Old Feb 1 2007, 07:07 PM   #6
makenzie71
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Default Re: first segment from my newest short story...

Quote:
Originally Posted by edith View Post
I like surreal but that wasn't!
ummm...not the whole story. Every story has to start somewhere.
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Old Feb 2 2007, 03:27 PM   #7
Brenda
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Default Re: first segment from my newest short story...

I would go through and fix at least the basic grammar and punctuation errors. It is difficult to comment on the actual story otherwise. Also, was there a reason you posted the whole thing as a quote? That is very distracting.
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