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Elysian (approx 2273 words)

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Old 10-12-2015, 03:04 PM
BluebellCharm (Offline)
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Default Elysian (approx 2273 words)


Hi all,

Okay, so the usual blurb from me to begin with is please forgive my many grammatical errors and punctuation etc. I'm desperately trying to learn to correct these and using input from your previous critiques but realise it's still pretty bad.

Anyway, this is a very rough piece I'm currently working on. I have the idea of the story firmly in my head but am not sure if it's coming across in the right way without confusing the reader where it's going or what it's all about.

Just after a bit feedback to see if it's making any sense so far?

Thanks in advance x



I opened my eyes and blinked hard to clear the sleep that remained there. Snatches of a semi-dark sky could be seen through the canopy of trees up above, which told me it was still early.
Had it been my usual time of awakening there would have been the sweet melody of birds singing their morning song instead of the silence that hung in the air.
I pulled the rough blanket further up to my chin and closed my eyes again. This would have been the perfect moment to reposition myself on the makeshift canvas I lay upon and allow my sleepy brain to drift back into the safety of my dreams, however today wasn’t just a normal day. Today was what could be the most important day in the history of my life!

As the realization suddenly dawned, I flung back my blanket and sat up with a start, gradually gathering my thoughts.

There was a cold nip in the air that immediately commanded the hairs on my arms to stand to attention, but I barely noticed.

I got to my feet and stretched my arms up high, enjoying the deep pull of my muscles.

Although the beginnings of dawn hadn’t quite yet broken the darkness, I could still make out the lumpy mass of my companion sleeping a couple of feet away.
I contemplated waking him but decided against it, opting instead to undress out of my warm clothes and into the garments that I’d carefully selected in preparation of my big day.
I’d even gone to the extent of washing them the day before with real soap, which was quite an extravagance considering soap was regarded as a pure luxury nowadays.

They were my best clothes. Or at least some of the very few that wasn’t yet worn and riddled with holes.
They were folded neatly on top of my rucksack that was propped up against a tree stump.
I pulled on the dark grey canvas trousers, which had four handy zip pockets - two on each leg. I’d chosen to team these with a dark blue vest top that clung snugly to my body, helping to accentuate the taught curves of my figure.
My arms were muscular for a woman, and I intended to have them on show as a sign of my strength.
The trainers I pulled on were the most worn part of my outfit. I tugged at the fraying laces, carefully looping them into a double knot and stood tall.
At least when I needed to run, these babies could carry me like the wind!

Heading away from camp, I started my way down toward the small freshwater pool that had become the main determining factor when choosing our temporary residing place. Fresh water was essential.

Every two weeks when it was time to move on to new ground, we could only consider staying where fresh water was no more than a short walk away.
Sometimes there would be other clans close by, but we’d soon come to be able to recognize if these were a threat to us or not.
Right now, at almost the end of our second week, we were the only people to occupy this small area in the woods we called our camp, so got exclusive use of the water source.

I crouched down close to the pool and splashed the cold liquid onto my face using cupped hands.

“I might have know you’d be up before the Lark”

I recognized the strong Irish accent immediately and turned round to greet Raul with a smile, wiping the water from my eyes with the back of my hand.

“I didn’t wake you did I?” I asked.

Raul shook his head and smiled although it didn’t appear entirely genuine.

“Not at all. To be honest I’ve not had much more than a wink of sleep, what with today looming and all….”

He let the sentence trail off quietly.

I got to my feet and crossed to Raul.

He was taller than me. A lot taller in fact. When I stood close to him, the top of my head barely touched the bottom of his chin which had earned me the affectionate name ‘Shorty’.

I looked up at him and tried my hardest to offer silent reassurance, although there was a look of uncertainty that touched his blue eyes.
He raised his hand and rested it on my shoulder before squeezing it gently.

“If you get in, I want you to know I’ll be fine” he whispered.

His tone was somber.

I nodded and broke into a grin suddenly feeling the need to lighten the moment.

In reality, it was my feeble attempt at pushing away the deep-rooted anxiety I felt at the thought of leaving Raul behind.

“Don’t pretend you won’t be lovin that extra blanket now, not to mention all my cast offs” I joked.

He paused for a moment before flashing me one of his broad smiles.

I loved his smile. It lit his entire face, gently illuminating every feature. When Raul was happy the world was good. That’s how it felt to me anyway.

“I’m not going to deny that Shorty!” he exclaimed, “C’mon, let’s get you prepped for selection”

Raul turned on his heels and set off back in the direction of camp.

It was only then that I let the smile on my face fade.


It was getting lighter now and when I returned Raul was knelt down busily preparing a fire. He leant across and reached for a small box of matches that was close by. He shook the box cursing silently when he realised it was empty.

“Here” I said as I rooted into one of the zipped pockets of my trousers and produced a lighter. I’d already filled them the night before with items I thought might come in handy today.

Raul raised one eyebrow precariously. “Is that mine by any chance?”

I laughed as he took it from me with an exaggerated snatch, and I perched myself on a moss covered stone we used as a seat to cook over the fire.

I watched as Raul’s dark curls flopped forward in front of his face which was now contorted in deep concentration while he held the dancing flame in front of some dry twigs.

“That hair of yours needs a chop” I remarked.

“Feck off will ya, I like it this way” he retorted with a laugh.

I laughed too and studied his face casually. At twenty-six years old, he was five years my senior.
With those curls and his dark blue eyes he was what I suspected most would consider handsome, striking even, although I’d never really thought of him like that.
His physique was muscular which was pretty standard for any male or female who stood any chance of survival in the world we found ourselves in today.
Working out using fallen tree branches as weights was something that was daily practice for Raul and I.
Of course the bi-weekly treks into the cities to scavenge helped to add to our overall fitness too.
The evenings were kept for regenerating our strength and plotting our next day’s plan while nightfall was far too dangerous to venture anywhere away from camp; the darkness providing the perfect canvas for predators of every kind.

“Yes!” my companion exclaimed as the orange flame caught onto the twigs, licking them with greed. He pushed the burning wood carefully into the prepared firewood and blew gently till the contagiousness of the flames engulfed these too.

I stood and crossed to the area that had served as our bedroom for the night.

Two thick, dark blankets lay in close proximity to one another over the top of two long piles of leaves and grassy foliage. A pair of grubby sheets covered these in an attempt to create a mattress of sorts.
There was little point in us creating an elevated bed crafted from the wood of the forest as moving on had to be quick, lightweight and easy. Besides which whenever we left a camp, we were always careful to leave it in as natural a state as possible.
We had once owned a canvas cover but this had attracted unwanted attention from a nearby clan who had jumped us one night while we slept. We were lucky to have escaped with our lives that night.
A mistake we would not make twice.

I gathered the blankets up and rolled them tightly into small compact bundles and secured them with some tough twine. Then repeated the process with the sheets before scattering the leaves and foliage out with my hands.
The daily procedure was laborious to say the least, but we had learnt from experience that it was worth the efforts to deter another attack.

I turned to observe Raul attentively hold a small metal pan over the fire, the handle hooked onto a short, thick branch.
Inside held the contents of our last tin of baked beans that we had previously acquired from our most recent scavenge.

The task of dividing our bedding into our two rucksacks continued before I crossed back to Raul.

“That’s the bedding packed”

My friend looked up to me and smiled, “Thank you. Brekkie’s nearly ready”

I picked up two child’s plastic plates that were decorated with pictures of cartoon jungle animals, and placed them close to Raul.
He placed the pan carefully on the ground and pulled his sleeve down over his hand, before picking up the hot receptacle to pour the hot beans evenly onto each plate.

I pulled two spoons from the front pocket of my rucksack and we began to eat the hot food.

“So are you feeling lucky?” Raul enquired before shoveling a large spoonful into his mouth.

I shrugged and shifted my gaze to the floor. I could tell he was trying to sound casual about the whole situation but knew he was aching with intrepid anticipation deep down inside.

The female lottery was held annually according to age bracket. Every year on the 18th of September it was the turn of the 18 to 25 year olds.
A lotto ticket could be obtained free of charge from a designated point in each city across the remaining country.
In a stroke of luck that had seemed to come from the very gods themselves, mine had been drawn.
I recalled the feeling of utter exhilaration as my number was called. 2671.
It had seemed like a hazy blur as I checked and re-checked the numbers carefully, unable to believe the words that the metallic tannoy had called.
Raul had been stood besides me and I hadn’t failed to notice the flash of disappointment cross his face before he replaced it with the broad smile he had come to master.
He’d hugged me tightly although his embrace felt far from congratulatory.

The evening that followed had been that of awkward conversation peppered with bursts of excitement.
On one hand I knew that he was happy for me, but also that he held a deep-rooted feeling of remorse. Jealousy even?

I couldn’t blame him though. After all I felt the same. Raul was the closest thing to family I had now.

We had met when I had gotton myself into a precarious situation with a group of males one evening whilst making my way through the city’s suburb.
I’d made the mistake of not checking all the empty rooms of a shop I was scavenging and one guy had spotted me.
It took a matter of seconds before a gang of six burly men surrounded me with snarls and lustful leers.

The first man had grabbed me, tackling me to the floor.

I had struggled, kicking and screaming at the loudest pitch I could. He’d almost managed to pull my trousers down, buttons still done up, before Raul had come swinging down on a rope from the rafters like some kind of superhero I’d only previously read about in comic books.

His feet had slammed into the perpetrator knocking him clean off his feet.
By the time the other men could react, I was up on my feet, pulling up my trousers as I ran for the safety of the open door outside. Raul followed closely behind, grabbing my hand and pulling me abruptly into the undergrowth outside.

We watched breathlessly as the melee spilled out onto the street.

The men spread themselves about, searching up and down the street.
The beast that’d almost tried to rape me finally ushered the men together and once they’d realized we’d escaped, they left.

From that day on, Raul and I had stuck together. Our bond cemented by a mutual but unspoken understanding that this environment was better paired with an ally than alone.

“If I get picked Raul” I said finally, studying his face, “I want you to promise me something”

He looked up at me pausing, his eyes searching mine.

The words seemed to stick in my throat and I coughed as if trying to make the sentiment seem more casual.

“Make sure you find my daughter”

I battled the emotion that had annoyingly started to well up inside and fought back the hot tears that began to sting my eyes.

“Make sure she knows why I’ve done, what I’ve done”

Raul carefully placed his plate on the floor and cast me a look of sympathetic assurance.

There were no words that could be exchanged between us that could speak any louder, and at that moment he crossed toward me and we silently embraced needing nothing else.

“I promise” he whispered.


Last edited by BluebellCharm; 10-14-2015 at 02:23 PM..
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Salvitor (10-14-2015)
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Old 10-12-2015, 06:39 PM
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Oh, this is a great story so far!! I would love to read more, but don't rush yourself, . The story is well written and intriguing, and yes there are punctuation errors. The punctuation errors are mostly commas, something to fix, but not fret over to much.

Also, is there going to be more added later?

Last edited by Salvitor; 10-13-2015 at 10:25 AM..
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Old 10-14-2015, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Salvitor View Post
Oh, this is a great story so far!! I would love to read more, but don't rush yourself, . The story is well written and intriguing, and yes there are punctuation errors. The punctuation errors are mostly commas, something to fix, but not fret over to much.

Also, is there going to be more added later?
Hi Salvitor, thank you so much for your kind comments! I'm glad you like the story so far.

I am working on the next chapter now although I'm finding it difficult to flow. Although I know exactly where the story is going, I sometimes feel I'm not doing it justice as I'm not a whizz with my descriptive skills. lol It's in my head but just doesn't seem to know how to come out!

Thanks again
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Old 10-14-2015, 04:00 PM
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This is a very intriguing setting and I enjoyed it ((I have a soft spot for post apocalyptic stories)).

As for your fear of coming across confusingly, I don't think you have to worry about that. I felt that I got a good grasp of the setting and characters from this intro. I also like your descriptions, despite the grammatical errors. As someone who also struggles with descriptions and grammar myslef, I will say that re-reading, then re-re-reading, then repeating that for another fifty times usually helps me find it all. Try reading it like you are not the writer. Putting myself in the reader's shoes usually helps me fix any descriptions or story breaks.

Now I'm no editor, but I do agree with Salvitor about moving too fast. The whole thing flowed well in the first half, but the second half seemed to have a lot of things in it. Describing Raul, hinting at lotteries, flashbacks of meeting, something about a child, it all happened very quickly. I would recommend you space them out a bit more. Maybe include the description of Raul sooner, around the time they are at the water. Maybe explain the lottery or backstory a little later on. These are just suggestions you could play around with, and others might not feel the same way.

I will say I like your main character and Raul, which is an accomplishment for this short of an intro. I do want to see more characterization in the main character's narration. I couldn't quite pin down a solid tone for the woman, and in a first person perspective I feel that its one of the most important things. Having a first person means you are having the person tell you the story first hand, so try playing with different speech patterns, favorite words, etc. Listening to other people tell stories would help with this. You could pick up on their particular tones and styles which you could use for your own characters.

In any case, to end my rambling, I liked this a lot. You're a story teller and I look forward to reading more about this lottery ((Anticipation!!!))
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Old 10-14-2015, 10:56 PM
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hi,
i realise you already admitted that there will be grammatical errors in this. but i'll still say a few things concerning that.

first, some of it is avoidable. you seem to use the word 'that' a little too much. for example, the rucksack 'that' was...i hope you understand what i mean by that. sorry it sounds vague.

also, i like your descriptions, like how fire licks at wood. but please be careful with your choice of words. for example, i'm not sure intrepid anticipation is possible, i don't think a melee was the best word to use there, i don't think a tight, long hug can feel far from congratulatory. and several others here and there.

lastly, it might have been nicer if there was more conversation. it would have shown us a lot more without you or her having to tell us. for example, he could call her shorty instead of her just telling us. they could use logs as weights this particular morning instead of her telling us.

on the whole it's a good one. the story was interesting enough. i like that nothing is still clear at this point. also can an irish be named raul...i don't know. thank you for listening.
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Old 10-16-2015, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by NSD716 View Post
This is a very intriguing setting and I enjoyed it ((I have a soft spot for post apocalyptic stories)).

As for your fear of coming across confusingly, I don't think you have to worry about that. I felt that I got a good grasp of the setting and characters from this intro. I also like your descriptions, despite the grammatical errors. As someone who also struggles with descriptions and grammar myslef, I will say that re-reading, then re-re-reading, then repeating that for another fifty times usually helps me find it all. Try reading it like you are not the writer. Putting myself in the reader's shoes usually helps me fix any descriptions or story breaks.
Thank you! Yep, I have tried to re-read it over and over but I still just can't seem to get the punctuation right! I've decided that I'm going to take an English course to help me with this. Guess I should have paid more attention in school rather than sat daydreaming with my head in the clouds!

Originally Posted by NSD716 View Post
Now I'm no editor, but I do agree with Salvitor about moving too fast. The whole thing flowed well in the first half, but the second half seemed to have a lot of things in it. Describing Raul, hinting at lotteries, flashbacks of meeting, something about a child, it all happened very quickly. I would recommend you space them out a bit more. Maybe include the description of Raul sooner, around the time they are at the water. Maybe explain the lottery or backstory a little later on. These are just suggestions you could play around with, and others might not feel the same way.
Okay I'll take this into consideration, thank you. I think I was just trying to 'hook' the reader with little insights into what's to come. I'll have a think on re-working this though.

Originally Posted by NSD716 View Post
I will say I like your main character and Raul, which is an accomplishment for this short of an intro. I do want to see more characterization in the main character's narration. I couldn't quite pin down a solid tone for the woman, and in a first person perspective I feel that its one of the most important things. Having a first person means you are having the person tell you the story first hand, so try playing with different speech patterns, favorite words, etc. Listening to other people tell stories would help with this. You could pick up on their particular tones and styles which you could use for your own characters.

In any case, to end my rambling, I liked this a lot. You're a story teller and I look forward to reading more about this lottery ((Anticipation!!!))
Okay and yes your right. I submitted my first ever first person attempt a little while ago and someone said I wasn't quite getting into the character's feelings etc so I think this is an issue I need to address, so thank you.

Thanks so much again for your time. Very much appreciated



Originally Posted by eke93 View Post
hi,
i realise you already admitted that there will be grammatical errors in this. but i'll still say a few things concerning that.

first, some of it is avoidable. you seem to use the word 'that' a little too much. for example, the rucksack 'that' was...i hope you understand what i mean by that. sorry it sounds vague.
Lol, I hadn't actually noticed this but as always, whenever someone points something out, it suddenly seems glaringly obvious. I'll take a look at that thank you.

Originally Posted by eke93 View Post
also, i like your descriptions, like how fire licks at wood. but please be careful with your choice of words. for example, i'm not sure intrepid anticipation is possible, i don't think a melee was the best word to use there, i don't think a tight, long hug can feel far from congratulatory. and several others here and there.
Okay yes I see what you mean. Maybe 'trepidation' would be a more appropriate word?
With 'melee' it can mean 'a confused tumultuous mingling, as of a crowd' which is kind of what I was getting at, but guess there might be better words to use to explain this.
I think with the tight, long hug. I was thinking he was holding her in a way that suggested he was fearing her leaving rather than hugging her in a congratulatory manor.

Thanks for these though as it kind of highlights how others can perceive the way your thoughts are intended.

Originally Posted by eke93 View Post
lastly, it might have been nicer if there was more conversation. it would have shown us a lot more without you or her having to tell us. for example, he could call her shorty instead of her just telling us. they could use logs as weights this particular morning instead of her telling us.

on the whole it's a good one. the story was interesting enough. i like that nothing is still clear at this point. also can an irish be named raul...i don't know. thank you for listening.
Yes, I agree with more showing instead of telling. I do know I have a rather bad habit of doing this so will definitely try to be conscious of this when writing further.

The name Raul! To be honest the Irish thing just came to me with not much thought so I hadn't considered if the name fitted or not. I've actually just googled it and it comes up as Italian or Spanish! lol. I'll either just stick with it or change him to native Italian. Maybe that would work?

Thank so much for your input. I really am so appreciative for everyone who takes the time to read my stuff.

xx
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Old 10-28-2015, 06:53 AM
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Hey, BluebellCharm.

I don’t know if this is confusing, but it is a little fuzzy in places.

I’m not a minimalist. I like description as much as anyone if it adds something or if it's unique or poetic. But I would say that you really should go through this and try to discern what’s necessary and what isn’t. In the opening paragraphs, I think you want to get across where she is and what she’s doing and hint at what’s to come. You do that, but there’s extra stuff in there you don’t really need.

I opened my eyes and blinked hard to clear the sleep that remained there.
I’m not sure if you mean “sleep,” as in eye gunk or in figurative sense. I’ve heard it used both ways, but it doesn’t tell me very much.

Snatches (Patches?) of a semi-dark sky could be seen through the canopy of trees up above, which told me it was still early.
This tells me where she is and when. So that’s fine.


Had it been my usual time of awakening there would have been the sweet melody of birds singing their morning song instead of the silence that hung in the air.
That’s kind of marginal information. I think if it was something more poetic it could work, but it really doesn’t say anything beyond the expected and it’s not about the moment, which probably isn’t that good for an opening. Besides, if she’s seeing patches of semi-dark sky, that sounds like just before dawn and that’s when birds usually start singing. So maybe what you’re trying to say is she usually sleeps until sunrise?

So I think your two opening paragraphs could be boiled down to something like this:

I could see patches of semi-dark sky through the canopy of trees above. It was still early, at least an hour before sunrise, the time I normally awoke. But there would be nothing normal about this day. When that realization dawned, I threw my blanket off and sat up with a start, gradually gathering my thoughts.

Of course, that’s just an example to show you how you could pare this down without losing anything. I’m not saying it’s great and I’m not telling you to write like I do.

And some people think starting a story with someone waking up is a cliche. I've seen it in lists of editor's and agent's pet peeves, so that's something to think about.


Otherwise, take a hard look at all the stuff that doesn’t add to character development or move the story along or that’s important to set the scene. For example, I think the near assault is way too much back story and could be handled in a few sentences.

I picked up two child’s plastic plates that were decorated with pictures of cartoon jungle animals, and placed them close to Raul.
That may be the best thing in the story so far. It’s loaded. It says something about their routine, but to me it also says a lot about a world that no longer exists and the one they now have to face and what’s missing, what they may have once taken for granted.

So more of that kind of thing and less about beds, sheets and blankets and matches and lighters etc.

Then think about getting this across as succinctly as possible: Where she is, what’s going to happen that day, her relationship with Raul, especially how he feels about her leaving (and you’ve done a pretty good job with that) and finally what she’s asking him to do.

You can always go back and add more detail if you think it’s needed. I also think that simplifying things will help you with your grammar, sentence flow and structure etc.


Cheers.

Last edited by Binx B; 10-28-2015 at 07:03 AM..
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Old 10-29-2015, 02:30 PM
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Hi Binx B.

Firstly, thank you so very much for taking the time to write such a comprehensive and helpful reply.

Originally Posted by Binx B View Post
So I think your two opening paragraphs could be boiled down to something like this:

I could see patches of semi-dark sky through the canopy of trees above. It was still early, at least an hour before sunrise, the time I normally awoke. But there would be nothing normal about this day. When that realization dawned, I threw my blanket off and sat up with a start, gradually gathering my thoughts.

Of course, thatís just an example to show you how you could pare this down without losing anything. Iím not saying itís great and Iím not telling you to write like I do.
I really like this adaption and are you kidding? If I could write like you I'd be pretty darn happy!

Originally Posted by Binx B View Post
And some people think starting a story with someone waking up is a cliche. I've seen it in lists of editor's and agent's pet peeves, so that's something to think about.


Otherwise, take a hard look at all the stuff that doesnít add to character development or move the story along or thatís important to set the scene. For example, I think the near assault is way too much back story and could be handled in a few sentences.
Ah okay I see. I didn't realise starting with waking up was a cliche. Maybe something to look at.

The reason I gave the back story of how she met Raul was I wanted to build a good understanding of why they were so close and how that came about.
I know from other comments, I tend to have the habit of telling instead of showing, and I guess this could be an example.

Thanks again for all your input. I'll definitely try to take all you say on board.

It sure is tough being a newbie to all this but it's thanks to input from everyone that helps me learn to improve.

xx
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Old 10-29-2015, 06:26 PM
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Hiya, Bluebell,

I have got so say that, for me, there is not much going on here. It is like you are trying to "set up" this world by giving the reader a heap of information up front, rather than have characters and events allow the world to unfurl naturally.

This is only my opinion, but I would like to see more happening in the opening couple of thousand words than what is offered here.

I do like your descriptions, though. But watch out for contradiction. You mention your MC's arms are muscular for a females, but then go on to say that muscular tone is par for the course for males and females who stand any chance of survival.

I understand this is a first draft - and as a first draft it's fine. I will say that subsequent edits require cutting. Below I have taken the first few lines and outlined what I would remove as it is either slowing the story down, telling the reader to "suck eggs", or both (red denotes what I would cut, blue are suggestions/comments).

Originally Posted by BluebellCharm View Post

I opened my eyes and blinked hard to clear the sleep that remained there. Snatches of a semi-dark sky could be seen through the canopy of trees up above, which told me it was still early.
Had it been my usual time of awakening there would have been the sweet melody of birds singing their morning song instead of the silence that hung in the air.
I pulled the rough blanket further up to my chin and closed my eyes again. This would have been the perfect moment to reposition myself on the makeshift canvas I lay upon and allow my sleepy brain to drift back into the safety of my dreams, however today wasn’t just a normal day. Today was what could be the most important day in the history of my life!

As the realization suddenly dawned, I flung back my blanket and sat up with a start, gradually (this is reads a contradiction "start" and "gradual") gathering my thoughts.

There was a cold nip in the air that immediately commanded the hairs on my arms to stand to attention, but I barely noticed (if the MC barely notices it why write it?).

I got to my feet and stretched my arms up high, enjoying the deep pull of my muscles.

Although the beginnings of dawn hadn’t quite yet broken the darkness,(Though still dark), I could still make out the lumpy mass of my companion sleeping a couple of feet away.
I contemplated waking him but decided against it.opting Instead I to took off undress out of my warm clothes and put on into the garments that I’d carefully selected in preparation of my big day.
I’d even gone to the extent of washing them the day before with real soap, which was quite an extravagance considering soap was regarded as a pure luxury nowadays.
I hope this helps somewhat. I see this morphing into the next "Hunger Games" from here, but with some different twists (sorry if that is not the direction it is taking, but it is how I read it).

Cheers

PS: Binx - just noticed your crit basically covers what I had been saying (sorry I didn't look over your feedback more thoroughly). Great minds, eh?
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Old 10-31-2015, 04:08 PM
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Hi Risk10

Thank you for your time on this and I totally appreciate you giving me examples as this is far easier for me to go off.

I must admit I'm finding it difficult to incorporate everyones adaptations into my story, as it's soon becoming a chore to make sure they all 'fit' properly.

I've attempted many times to change this chapter but to no avail. I'm actually starting to doubt my ability in writing at all!

I think maybe I need to read by example to improve the art.

It's funny you should mention the Hunger Games as I was aware as I wrote this it could sound similar, although this certainly wasn't my intention.

I truly thank you though as all feedback is so gratefully valued. xx
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Old 10-31-2015, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by BluebellCharm View Post

I'm actually starting to doubt my ability in writing at all!
The Word humbles all who try make it their own.
And it succors any that move with it through all that occurs.
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Old 10-31-2015, 10:15 PM
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Originally Posted by BluebellCharm View Post
Hi Risk10



I must admit I'm finding it difficult to incorporate everyones adaptations into my story, as it's soon becoming a chore to make sure they all 'fit' properly.

This is probably the biggest mistake

We all provide well intentioned opinions on how "we" see the story. What is important is not to lose how you feel your story is best served by these opinions (if they serve any use at all).

We have all been there (doubting our ability), but believe me, I only critique things that I see as having merit, care and dedication from the writer to improve. You have these in spades and I have no doubt that through it all you will continue to develop this interesting piece.

Best wishes
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Old 11-01-2015, 05:53 PM
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Hey BlueBell. Nice to see that you're still writing.

This does feel like a rough draft, but there's enough here to get a feeling of a story being born.

For awhile, there, I thought this was a group of people, not just two. (?)

You didn't mention what the lottery prize was. That bothered me. And why is she chosen if she won?

Keep it coming.

Have a nice writing day.
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Old 11-02-2015, 03:49 AM
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I liked the story. Your not as confusing as you fear to be. Indeed, a few extra commas here and there would solve a lot.

I liked your descriptions, but I don't think leaving out some words will do any harm. A lot of the sentences could be shorter and a little bit more direct, without losing its meaning.

Like someone posted earlier, try to get rid of the word 'that' here and there. End result, you'll say the exact same thing, but it will flow much better and will scoop the chaos out of it.

Other than that, I'd love to read more!
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Old 11-02-2015, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Nick Pierce View Post
The Word humbles all who try make it their own.
And it succors any that move with it through all that occurs.
Thanks Nick Your eloquence of words always make me smile.

Originally Posted by risk10 View Post
This is probably the biggest mistake

We all provide well intentioned opinions on how "we" see the story. What is important is not to lose how you feel your story is best served by these opinions (if they serve any use at all).

We have all been there (doubting our ability), but believe me, I only critique things that I see as having merit, care and dedication from the writer to improve. You have these in spades and I have no doubt that through it all you will continue to develop this interesting piece.

Best wishes
Thank you! I will continue, just find myself having a wobble now and again.

Originally Posted by wrc View Post
For awhile, there, I thought this was a group of people, not just two. (?)

You didn't mention what the lottery prize was. That bothered me. And why is she chosen if she won?

Keep it coming.

Have a nice writing day.
Hi wrc,

Ah, that hadn't even occurred to me that it might have been perceived as a group! I'll look at mentioning that earlier on.

I kinda thought that dropping hints here and there helped with the anticipation of what's to come, hence not revealing the full meaning of the lottery. I intended to tell the reason of this and all the other hints in the forthcoming chapter/s.

Just to explain though, a lottery is held annually on certain dates for individual age brackets, which gives the winning ticket holders the opportunity to attend a selection process.
The prize is given by the people of the Elysian - a kind of utopian world.
This is an island that has been created in retrospect of a post apocalyptic world to become a super race of humans.
They will select only humans who hold individual qualities/strengths or any other abilities or uses.
Of course, the story will turn out that the Elysian are not all they seem!

Originally Posted by Siswa View Post
I liked the story. Your not as confusing as you fear to be. Indeed, a few extra commas here and there would solve a lot.

I liked your descriptions, but I don't think leaving out some words will do any harm. A lot of the sentences could be shorter and a little bit more direct, without losing its meaning.

Like someone posted earlier, try to get rid of the word 'that' here and there. End result, you'll say the exact same thing, but it will flow much better and will scoop the chaos out of it.

Other than that, I'd love to read more!
Thank you Siswa!

I guess from everyone's comments I have a habit of adding too much info so I definitely need to look at this.

I'm currently trying to re-write this chapter but am finding it so difficult. Like Risk10 says, it is a big mistake to try to take in everyones opinion, but when you don't really have a clue where your going wrong it's hard to separate it what you should use and what you shouldn't.

Thanks again for your input.

I'm forever humbled by everyone's time to read and comment.
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