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View Full Version : A 'rough around the edges' part of a possibly good short story or novel...who knows?



jamie's
February 5th, 2012, 06:00 PM
Hi,
I am a non native English speaker, so please bear with me while reading the following part of a certain work of mine.
Any suggestions, be it for negative or positive reasons are of course welcome.
Here we go a bit:

Time matters

It's going to be a day like any other, thought Emerson as he opened the door of his freshly cleansed car. He entered the car, and after having a longer, cautiously curious look at his house, he started the engine. 10 minutes later the engine started its tale -- Emerson was completely enjoying his ride to the place where he and his ''people'' were to meet.

What was this meeting's aim? Well, having asked himself that question, Emerson wasn't able to provide the answer. The people he met a month or so ago were to involve him in ''some kind'' of a ''mission'', as they put it.

It was of no use that Emerson was enjoying the wind in his bushy hair while driving his clean cabriolet. For no wind could clear his mind from the dilemmas and questions, about his people he was to meet soon.
In the past he had met a lot of people who were needing his interventions. He was and still is -- a private detective. No one could say that he was one, though. The house he lived in with his loving one, Janine, was a real piece of work, a real mansion. Regardless of his intense and sleasy job, the couple lived happily inside their home. Each and every time he had to spend the night out, he would call her on the phone only to tell her one more time how sad he was about his absence.

Yet, if he didn't very well know that Janice is seeing other men stripping before her, and his bed, the very minute he stopped to give her a call, no people would have been getting in touch with him and asking to meet him, the Investigator. He was very good at what he was doing, quite a professional. He didn't care very much about his obscurely obscene, and a bit jealous, private life.
The phones were ringing at his other girlfriends' as well.

How fast the time passes, thought he as he was taking turns on this windy road. He also was to turn 40 that winter. Time passed but he was still taking turns with patience, whether it was his job or Janine. Or Mary or Mychelle.

In fact, the time didn't matter now. In order to meet his clients (whom he always reffered to as ''the people'') he had to make another 30 turns on this windy road. The leaves, red and green, falling from the trees, were flying around the speed of his car. There was a leaf or two on the careful brimm of his hat as well.

He was at the threshold of his 40s, but still full of life; he took off his hat and put it at the co-driver's seat, thus setting his bushy hair free. And was feeling the wind's inherent comforting.

Another 15 turns, and he was to spot ''the people's'' vehicle.
They were to meet each other the half way. He turned the radio low. Before the future scenes he lay himself spiritually and instinctively low. 5 more turns and there they were, the ones waiting to meet him.

He spoted them. The last turn.
He turned the radio off. It was getting darker, and ''the people'' used their car lights to…

jamie's
February 6th, 2012, 10:23 AM
I posted this short part of a possible short story without offering the ending of it. Maybe that is the reason that no one decided to give a much appreciated feedback on it...?
So, if anyone has anything to say about it, you're welcome.
I don't write much in general, and that must be the reason that there are some troublesome parts in my writing.
I know that it requires much work and reviewing of the work before literature happens.
Nontheless, your feedback on this one, please:eagerness:
Cheers,
jamie's

The Backward OX
February 6th, 2012, 12:56 PM
Hi to you too. Your story has the potential, the possibility, to be very interesting. Thereís something about it, something in your use of ďthe peopleĒ and the meeting on a twisting road, that to my mind speaks of your (Eastern European) part of the world, so that has to be good writing. Or maybe that was merely my romantic mind. Maybe your intention for setting is further west, such as England.

If a western setting is your intention, why not consider changing it to something you are familiar with and giving your readers a look at a part of the world they donít know? If youíre Russian, Emerson could become Petrov or Vasilyev, Janine could become Ekaterina or Anastasia, their mansion could become a dacha, and so on.


Your English is another matter. I donít know how to go about correcting it, because English being such a mongrel language, much of what I would say would possibly be difficult for a non-native speaker to follow. The only answer may be years of totally immersing yourself in both spoken and written English and hoping for the best.


Hereís one thing I can point out thatís easy. Itís about what we call ďtenseĒ. (That word itself has at least two different meanings) Here it refers to when something takes place Ė now, or earlier, or even in the future. If it happens now, itís present tense; if it happened earlier, itís past tense, if itís going to happen soon, itís future tense. And you cannot mix them together in your writing. So when you wrote ďHe was and still is a private detectiveĒ it was WRONG. You have to decide whether your entire story is to be written in the past tense (most common) or the present tense, and stick to it throughout.

Good luck.

jamie's
February 6th, 2012, 04:00 PM
Hi to you too. Your story has the potential, the possibility, to be very interesting. There’s something about it, something in your use of “the people” and the meeting on a twisting road, that to my mind speaks of your (Eastern European) part of the world, so that has to be good writing. Or maybe that was merely my romantic mind. Maybe your intention for setting is further west, such as England.

If a western setting is your intention, why not consider changing it to something you are familiar with and giving your readers a look at a part of the world they don’t know? If you’re Russian, Emerson could become Petrov or Vasilyev, Janine could become Ekaterina or Anastasia, their mansion could become a dacha, and so on.


Your English is another matter. I don’t know how to go about correcting it, because English being such a mongrel language, much of what I would say would possibly be difficult for a non-native speaker to follow. The only answer may be years of totally immersing yourself in both spoken and written English and hoping for the best.


Here’s one thing I can point out that’s easy. It’s about what we call “tense”. (That word itself has at least two different meanings) Here it refers to when something takes place – now, or earlier, or even in the future. If it happens now, it’s present tense; if it happened earlier, it’s past tense, if it’s going to happen soon, it’s future tense. And you cannot mix them together in your writing. So when you wrote “He was and still is a private detective” it was WRONG. You have to decide whether your entire story is to be written in the past tense (most common) or the present tense, and stick to it throughout.

Good luck.

Thanks BO,
Yes, I tried to single out some words that could have a suspense meaning, the one's you 'descovered' are some of those. I'm aware that many of the substantives and verbs I didn't manage to turn into metaphores or allegories, etc. I wrote this thread fast, and didn't give it much thought. There has to be a good story fulfilled with a lot of suspense material. One has to always be 'on their toes' and wait for the metaphor etc. to express its meaning/s. I need to be patient and let the written 'wait' a couple of days, and afterwards I could add some new production, or change the old production.
Yes, the setting is to be considered; yes, there was something romantic I wanted to present; the story could take place in the West or East Europe or the US or Australia.
And yes, I didn't pay attention to the tenses, although I'm somewhat familiar with them.
As for the knowledge of the English language, you're right, one has to think and dream in a certain language before writing in that language.
Again, thanks for your assistance, looking forward to 'the rest' of your comments to my writing:)
Regards,
jamie's

bazz cargo
February 6th, 2012, 09:13 PM
Time matters

It's going to be a day like any other, thought Emerson as he opened the door of his freshly cleaned car. After he got into the car he took a long look at his house. He started the engine. Ten minutes later Emerson was enjoying his ride to the place where he and his ''people'' were to meet.

Emerson had no idea what the meeting was for. The people he met a month or so ago were trying to involve him in some kind of 'mission', as they put it.

Despite Emerson enjoying the wind in his bushy hair while driving his freshly cleaned cabriolet, his mind would not let go from the dilemmas and questions about this meeting.
In the past he had met a lot of people who were needing his help. He was and still is -- a private detective. No one could tell that he was one, though. The house he lived in with lovely Janine, was a really nice place. Regardless of his intense and sleazy job, the couple lived happily inside their home. Every time he had to work late or spend the night out, he would call her on the phone; he'd tell her how sad he was, how much he was missing her.




Hi Jamie,
Nice of you to drop by.

I gave this a bit of a work over to demonstrate some of the finer grammar tweaks that were needed.
You also have to watch out for continuity errors. Janine becomes Janice at one point.

Your English is very good. It may pay you to use smaller examples of your work so it would be easier for someone to help you make it better. Above a certain size you will loose sight of the changes.

I second Xo's suggestion of making it more relevant to yourself. It would add an exotic touch and give it more appeal.
Good luck!