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Qieth
December 22nd, 2010, 10:32 AM
He opened his eyes and sat up straight. His mouth twisted in a silent scream as he was assaulted by a blinding headache, and he fell down on the pillows again with his hands at his temples, trying to stop his head from exploding.

After some time, the pain went away, and he opened his eyes. He didn’t recognize the room. Slowly, he sat up again and gingerly got to his feet. His room was neat and tidy, with little personal effects, other than a pair of shoes and a backpack. He wasn’t sure they were his, but it hardly seemed to matter. The table next to his bed had a picture frame of some strangers.

He could walk, if a bit unbalanced, and found a bathroom across the hall. He bent over for a drink of water and cleaned his face. As he looked at the reflection in the mirror, the hair on the back of his neck stood rigid as he noticed the blood on his shirt. It wasn’t a lot of blood, but surely more than there should be.

Had he been hurt? He couldn’t see any cuts or bruises, and with the headache nearly gone, he didn’t feel any pain at all. Had he hurt someone else?

He rushed back to the room. In one of the closets, he found a white shirt, quickly changed and stuffed the bloodied shirt into the backpack. Without taking anything else, he ran out of the room and down the hall. His breath was laboured as he passed other rooms, too quickly to see what was inside them. As he reached the double glass doors at the end of the hall, he heard shouts from behind. Without looking back he drove through the doors and continued into a blinding white landscape.

There were a few people on the path and he heard angry, startled shouts as he passed them. His chest was hurting, but there was no way he could stop running. He might get caught. He might be in serious trouble.

He slowed to a steady walk and examined his surroundings. Everything was white with snow and he couldn’t figure out where he was. He figured that he would eventually reach a place he knew or find a bus station. He didn’t know where he wanted to go. He didn’t even know what he was leaving.

Daniel.

He should have taken the shoes. Walking through the snow in bare feat was painful and he had nothing on but a thin shirt. His pants were soaked and cold, and stuck to his legs.

Daniel.

The name disturbed him. He tried to force it out of his mind and focused instead on trying to find a place to get warm. Maybe he should knock on a door and ask for help. But he couldn’t. People might be looking for him – the wrong kind of people.

Daniel!

He startled as a hand touched his shoulder. A car had stopped not far behind him, and a pretty woman had left the man in the car to run up to him.

“Where are you going?”
“I need to get away. I think I did something bad. I have to get away!”
“No, you need to come back with me, Daniel. You’re not well. You’ve been in an accident, and you can’t be out here!”

Suddenly concious of the bandages around his chest, he nodded and started walking as the woman took his arm. She gently led him into the car and put a blanket over his shivering body. Strangers greeted him at the hospital, the people from the picture frame, and they led him back into the room, got him into some dry clothes and into the bed. “Try to rest”, they said. They were probably right. He was exhausted from the run and the walk and his head had started hurting again.

Just before sleep took him completely, he opened his eyes. He didn’t recognize the room he was in, the white walls or the picture frame on the table. He coughed, closed his eyes, and fell asleep.

- Dan Poulsen

Johnathanrs
December 22nd, 2010, 01:41 PM
You start off by saying, “he”, but who’s he? You haven’t described who “he” is to me. I think your sentences would work better if you tried molding them more and adding more detail. You need to describe who he is, is he a monster, an alien, a human? I think also it would be better to paint either a background, or description of your character in the introduction.

Some of your sentencing needs re-wording:

He opened his eyes and sat up straight. His mouth twisted in a silent scream as he was assaulted by a blinding headache, and he fell down on the pillows again with his hands at his temples, trying to stop his head from exploding
I think this would work better:

“He opened his eyes and sat up, his mouth twisting in agony, as he was assaulted by a blinding headache. He began rubbing his temples, as he tried to keep his head from exploding”

Just an example, I also believe you should focus on extending your vocabulary, a huge problem I have as well. Some of your descriptions would work better with better wording.

I recommend googling different words that have a similar meaning, until you learn them naturally. (This is what I do.)

Story: The story moved, although there wasn’t much content.

My opinion is you have grammar issues, like I do. You don’t describe enough, and your vocabulary isn’t extensive enough.

Your strong points are your basic plot writing.
My opinion, hope I helped.

Bilston Blue
December 22nd, 2010, 01:47 PM
Hi, it says at the top it's a short story, though I feel it doesn't work if this is the whole; there are too many questions left unanswered, and as a reader I would feel short changed. However, if this were to be the start of something longer, and it can still be a short story if extended, then there is definitely scope for a good story; it could go anywhere you wanted it to, and get there anyhow you wanted it to.

I write my short stories at about three thousand words, sometimes they come in a little shorter. I aim for between three and three and half thousand, and then edit it down, making the writing really tight and making every word count. If a word doesn't add to the story then it doesn't make the cut, and in short stories I swear by my rule of 'why use five words when I can use one or two. That's what I mean when I say make the writing tight.

If this IS just the start of something longer then do post the rest, 'cos I want to know what happens.

Scott

Bilston Blue
December 22nd, 2010, 01:56 PM
Following up Jonathanrs' post, and linking to my point about tight writing; using your first sentence as an example:

He opened his eyes and sat up straight. His mouth twisted in a silent scream as he was assaulted by a blinding headache, and he fell down on the pillows again with his hands at his temples, trying to stop his head from exploding.

I'd cut the last seven words. The reader knows he has a blinding headache, so severe infact that he falls down onto the pillow with his hands at his temples, and so the reader can see how severe his headache is. This should be descriptive enough, so you don't need the final part of the last sentence. It's the sort of stuff which I write, but then I'll chop out later when I go through the edit phase.

Hope this helps.

Scott. :santa:

Qieth
December 22nd, 2010, 02:57 PM
I'll try to explain the point of the story. I would still appreciate if you guys could read the actual story before reading this, so you are not tainted by the spoiler, because I'm really trying to get people to think this for themselves. Obviously, if that doesn't happen, then I need to do it differently :P

--

I don't know who he is. He doesn't even know who he is. The story I was trying to put forth was of a young man, who had been in an accident, and was suffering from amnesia. He wakes up in a hospital room, a room he doesn't reckognize. He sees his backpack and his shoes, and a picture of his parents. We follow him as he sees blood on his shirt, his own, maybe he's been coughing it up in his sleep. He sees the blood and assumes the worst. He can't remember anything anyways.

He runs out, passing hospital staff and other patients. In his dilerium, he walks around in nothing more than hospital clothes and bare feet. He is eventually found by a nurse, and we learn that his name is Daniel and that he was hurt. He is brought back to the hospital and hugged by his parents - the people from the picture frame on the table beside his bed - but he doesn't reckognize them. He lies down to sleep, but opens his eyes again, and once more has he lost his memory of where he is.

That was the story I was trying to tell. I was hoping the amnesia would be more apparent in the end, and maybe leave a question unanswered along the lines of "What happens next time he wakes up?".

With this plot in mind, does the story become clearer?

Sync
December 22nd, 2010, 03:19 PM
Hello

In a way it wouldn't take much to make this story a complete story, or make it possible for readers to believe so. You need only have the waking up with the headache and the unfamiliar room/people in photos repetitive.

for example


Just before sleep took him completely, He opened his eyes. He didn’t recognize the room he was in, the white walls or the people in the picture frame on the table. He coughed, his head hurt, closed his eyes, and fell asleep.in a way I don't really need to know who he is, more that his situation is endless confusion for him.

You still need to tighten this up. Excessive pronoun usage is never a good thing. But the easiest thing to fix. the trick is, if the subject hasn't change, it can be still assumed to be them.

one thing I have to mention is at the beginning, you show him saying he didn't recognise the room and then you call it 'his room'. If you are aware of this from other posters, well now you know others seen it. If not, now you know anyways :)

oh the woman calling him scene. a few things to consider.

one is if the car was following him and he didn't notice(because her hand startled him as it touched his shoulder) how did he know they got out of that car, or that that car was following? He can't because his pov was forward and not behind.

why italic for the first two calls? I thought it was his inner voice or someone was projecting their thoughts in his head the first time. It can be both, but that would need more words in the story to answer those questions. If it is just her voice, you should maybe consider keeping them all in dialogue.

Anyway, a bit more work needed, but still I enjoyed the story.

thanks for the read

Sync

Qieth
December 22nd, 2010, 07:48 PM
Thank you so much for that awesome feedback. There are æversi very valid points that I will try to take to heart.

English is not my first language. I do believe my English is quite good, but I sometimes fall short. Pronouns, what are these? I tried Googling the definition, but that had me more confused. Are they the "he"'s all the time? How do I avoid saying "he" in a story where we don't know his name? I struggle to not repeat myself, but I find it difficult to avoid in this case.

I think Daniel simply assumed it was "his room", or that he didn't really give it much thought, especially after he saw the state he was in. He would have also ignored that the "white shirt" he found was probably on a stack of only white shirts. It's a hospital, after all, but ge is too distracted to notice.

You are right about the woman. He couldn't know that she came from the car - only when she took him back to it would he make that connection. Seems to me that I need to be more conscious about my characters POV. That piece could be rewritten easily with this in mind.

I wrote the first two "Daniels" in italic, because I imagine that he writes them off as his own imagination. He is lost in thought, tired, cold, trying to figure out what he had to do. It was the woman calling, of course, but Daniel is oblivious to this until he is startled.

Throughout the story, I tried hard to not give the plot away. Maybe I tried too much. I don't want people to know that's it's a hospital. Like Daniel, they can assume the worst about him. I also don't want to mention the amnesia. I want the reader to figure it out because of the picture frame. And I want then wondering how he reacts when he wakes up again.

This is all very awesome feedback. It is very much appreciated!

Bilston Blue
December 22nd, 2010, 08:07 PM
Qieth, just a thought, try writing this story in the first person, with you / the narrator taking the role of Daniel. He will be replaced by I, some stories come across better in first person than third. Try it, see which one reads better. Play around with it, mould it, shape it, you've got the basic storyline, think of it as a block of wood from which a carpenter would create a wooden sculpture, now get to work carving the detail, you won't lose the story, but might strengthen it, or parts of it.

Scott

Sync
December 22nd, 2010, 08:23 PM
Easiest way is not to tell me all his actions, but show me some also

shadows
December 22nd, 2010, 08:31 PM
Hi Qieth

I read this in the original and now again since you've edited. The revision is a good improvement. I understood that he was suffering from Amnesia and now that you have removed the first sentence it makes it clearer.

One thing for you to consider - I often wake with a nauseating headache. I'm aware of its presence before I open my eyes but the last thing I'd do is sit up. I hardly dare move my head.

Just a suggestion


After some time, the pain went away, and he opened his eyes.He didn’t recognize the room. Slowly, he sat up again and gingerly got to his feet. His room was neat and tidy, with little personal effects, other than a pair of shoes and a backpack. He wasn’t sure they were his, but it hardly seemed to matter. The table next to his bed had a picture frame of some strangers.



The next time he woke up the pain had gone.

Maybe show him looking around the room before the unfamiliarity.

I agree with Sync that his makes it too personal. You want him distanced from the room.

If he could walk but a bit unbalanced, would he be able to rush back to his room?

I think you need to show some more inner dialogue to make his reasons for running out of the hospital more convincing. Just to say had he hurt someone isn't enough. As a reader I want to feel his panic, anxiety and confusion and at present I don't.


He startled as a hand touched his shoulder. A car had stopped not far behind him, and a pretty woman had left the man in the car to run up to him.

“Where are you going?”
“I need to get away. I think I did something bad. I have to get away!”
“No, you need to come back with me, Daniel. You’re not well. You’ve been in an accident, and you can’t be out here!”



If he was startled by the hand touching his shoulder, he wouldn't be aware of what was going on behind him. This is very easily fixed. Delete the second sentence and add in the car to you need to come back with me.

The last line brings it back to the beginning again, almost like the film Groundhog Day.

Still, I enjoyed this, thanks for the read.

Qieth
December 22nd, 2010, 10:15 PM
Thanks for the feedback. Please note I haven't actually edited anything yet :P

shadows
December 22nd, 2010, 10:22 PM
Oops, memory fade :)