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aliveatnight
June 21st, 2014, 04:47 PM
This is a short story I wrote with the main characters from my work in progress novel. I don't write many short stories or in third person, so this was a learning experience for me. Let me know what you think. :grin:

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“Wow, it’s so hot today” Emmy groaned as they entered the marketplace. “All I want to do is get some food, but instead I’ve gotta melt!”
“Oh quit exaggerating. We’ll be in and out before you know it.” Alex said to her in his matter of fact way. Emmy stared at him, wondering how he could be so immune to this intense heat.

“Besides,” Alex continued, “This will be good for you. Endurance is just as important as strength. Especially for someone who fights with a bow.” Emmy suddenly felt the weight of her bow and quiver, and she fell silent, thinking about how yet again, he was right. They walked side by side in silence, up the cobblestone road. There were little stands all around, shops that sold various goods from clothes to toys to weapons. And food! Emmy thought hungrily.
“There!” She suddenly yelled, causing Alex to flinch.

“Oww!” He yelped. “There’s what?” His question went unanswered however, as Emmy had already taken off, running up the street. He sighed and took off after her. Emmy ran as fast as her 8 year old body could, sweat poring off of her. But she didn’t care. Once she turned left onto the coming street, there would be the food place! Alright here’s the turn. She thought happily to herself.

One second she was running full speed, and the next everything had begun to spin. “Ugh...” she groaned weakly. She was vaguely aware of something above her, but she hadn’t the slightest clue as to what it was. She tried to lift her hand up and found that she couldn’t.
“Emmy?” The voice was hazy. “Emmy?! Oh god, no.”

Her vision was finally beginning to focus, and she saw the blue hair of her older friend. “A-Alex?” She whispered. He spun around, his eyes wide with worry. He faintly touched her head, and stopped when she flinched.

“That hurts huh?” He asked quietly. Emmy attempted to nod, and found her head wouldn’t move either.

“Why can’t I move?”

“You can’t move?”

“No.”

She watched his face turn from worry to sheer terror. He gently lifted her up and began to run. He can run faster than me. Emmy noticed. And he isn’t hurting me. Alex made sure to not hurt Emmy by jostling her more than he absolutely had to.

She closed her eyes and let herself try to rest. She knew he would take care of her. He always did. He was so much better than her father ever was.

DCG
June 22nd, 2014, 03:14 AM
So, I'm not trying to be rude, but the formatting on the story is a big issue. I don't want to discourage you, because I think you have an excellent imagination; however for the sake of brevity and clarity, I'm fairly blunt.


“Wow, it’s so hot today” Emmy said as they entered the marketplace. “All I want to do is get some food, but instead I’ve gotta melt!”

“Oh quit exaggerating. We’ll be in and out before you know it.”, said Alex.

Emmy stared at him, wondering how he could be so immune to this intense heat.

By context, I feel like I can assume inflection. With utmost respect, I don't think authorial intent is important, especially with inflection. It steals away from the readers imagination. William Shakespeare is known as one of the greatest playwrights the world has every seen. His most complicated stage direction was Dies. Now I understand that this is not a script, and that there is certainly more liberty with short stories and novels; however, your work will resonate much more with your reader if you don't try to tell them how the dialogue should sound in their head. The narrative should set them up for that.


“Besides,” Alex continued, “This will be good for you. Endurance is just as important as strength, especially for someone who fights with a bow.”

Emmy suddenly felt the weight of her bow and quiver, and she fell silent, thinking about how yet again, he was right. They walked side by side in silence, up the cobblestone road. There were little stands all around that sold various goods from clothes to toys to weapons, and food! Emmy thought hungrily.
“There!” She suddenly yelled, causing Alex to flinch.

There's some consistency issues in this paragraph. Is there narrator describing the scene, or is Emmy observing it?
I would also omit the word 'suddenly'. It seems excessive.

Does Emmy think hungrily? Do you think hungrily? Man, I'm thinking hungrily right now.

Other than that work on format, work on flow and when to use a comma. If you need to, use semicolons.

This is probably the epitome of the issue (for me):


She watched his face turn from worry to sheer terror. He gently lifted her up and began to run. He can run faster than me. Emmy noticed. And he isn’t hurting me. Alex made sure to not hurt Emmy by jostling her more than he absolutely had to.

This is confusing. I didn't know if this was being narrated by an observer who was with the characters, or what was going on. I had to read it a couple times to figure it out. You would avoid this confusion using quotation marks if the character is actually thinking these things. Otherwise, include it in the narrative.
Also, try not to use so many periods. When you use short sentences, make sure that they are complete thoughts.

The quote I put in bold does not make sense. Why is he shaking the hell out of her if he's trying not to hurt her? I understand the intent, but the sentence either needs to be reworked, or omitted. I would omit it just because it's a bit redundant. If you're trying to imply that Emmy has an issue with her spinal column, or some other injury in which movement should be very limited, I would do it with another sentence.


She watched his face turn from worry to sheer terror. He gently lifted her up and began to run.

"He can run faster than me.", Emmy noticed. "And he isn’t hurting me."

Alex took care not to jostle her more than he needed to.

or


She watched his face turn from worry to sheer terror. He gently lifted her up and began to run. Emmy noticed how much faster he could run, and how he wasn't hurting her. Alex took care not to jostle her more than he needed to.

aliveatnight
June 23rd, 2014, 09:50 PM
Thank you so much. I really struggle with both 3rd person and short stories, so I truly appreciate this. I'll definitely be looking using the advice you gave me.

Riptide
June 23rd, 2014, 10:05 PM
“Wow, it’s so hot today” Emmy groaned as they entered the marketplace. “All I want to do is get some food, but instead I’ve gotta melt!”

“Oh quit exaggerating. We’ll be in and out before you know it.” Alex said to her in his matter of fact way. Emmy stared at him, wondering how he could be so immune to this intense heat.

“Besides,” Alex continued, “This will be good for you

Three big no-no's in dialogue: "Wow, it's so hot today ," Emmy groaned.... Forgot the comma

"...before you know it , " Alex said. You put a period when it needed to be a comma

"Besides," Alex continued, " this will be good...." Since you don't end Alex continued with a period, the This that follows needs to be lower case because it's still apart of the Besides.


Anyway, follow up with what DCG said.

And don't worry, I usually do first person too, but I've been dabbing in third for my WIP, with some first for a few of the character. The story did leave me interested as to what had happened to her. I assumed she hit her head, but really, I can't be too sure.

aliveatnight
June 24th, 2014, 02:11 AM
Dang, I can't believe I missed those things in the dialogue. I'm glad that you were still interested, and she did injure her head. Thanks for the feedback Riptide.

thepancreas11
June 26th, 2014, 11:39 AM
A very light-hearted jaunt until the end when something catastrophic apparently happens.

I have two quick crits:

One, the age of these characters make this kind of unrealistic; the speech modes, the fact that she carries a bow around...

Two, I don't really understand what happened. The difference between a short story and a novel is that you have to get it all out with one fell swoop. You have to set up a conflict, then you have to resolve it (or approach resolution and rip it away from us). This needs more structure, more presence. I would like to see them do something here, as opposed to something happening to them.

Revise! Revise! Revise! Short stories really are difficult to get the hang of.

ussaid
June 27th, 2014, 01:23 AM
While it was nicely written story, however short stories are meant to start and end, and this story really didn't ended up anywhere. As someone said earlier, the characters are unrealistically young.

Smith
July 1st, 2014, 02:33 AM
To start with criticism, basically the things others have mentioned. It was alright, just needs an ending in some form.

Now, positively speaking even going on sixteen I still refer to The Ranger's Apprentice as my favorite book series growing up. And this sort of took me back there a little bit, which was cool. The setting and characters were familiar yet unique in their own sense. Perhaps they are a bit young, but then again, this is as you said "part of a larger piece."

So maybe in the context of your novel this is based on, everything would make sense. That being said, share what else you have from this when you feel ready! ^_^

aliveatnight
July 1st, 2014, 01:27 PM
Thank you all! The characters are young - Emmy is 8 and Alexander is 17.

And Smith, that's really cool that it reminded you of it!

Katie D
July 1st, 2014, 02:09 PM
I am not experienced enough as a writer to critique your piece technically, I can only give you what I feel as a reader.


“Wow, it’s so hot today” Emmy groaned as they entered the marketplace. “All I want to do is get some food, but instead I’ve gotta melt!” - "gotta" is a lazy and modern way of speaking and because it is the first line of the piece, it sets the scene in a modern world. Is this where you want me?

“Oh quit exaggerating. We’ll be in and out before you know it.” Alex said to her in his matter of fact way. Emmy stared at him, wondering how he could be so immune to this intense heat. - Immune and intense heat are mature words and again, my brain is trying to set the scene with what you have given me. So far, I have a modern girl with a lazy tongue but mature mind.

“Besides,” Alex continued, “This will be good for you. Endurance is just as important as strength. Especially for someone who fights with a bow.” Emmy suddenly felt the weight of her bow and quiver, and she fell silent, thinking about how yet again, he was right. They walked side by side in silence, up the cobblestone road. There were little stands all around, shops that sold various goods from clothes to toys to weapons. And food! Emmy thought hungrily.
“There!” She suddenly yelled, causing Alex to flinch. - Aha! Cobblestone, now I can see where you are trying to put me. But then I get lost between stands and shops, two very different things. In my mind, shops are permanent buildings. If there were shops and stands, tell me so, otherwise my brain will still be trying to decide which one to imagine when it should be getting lost in your story.

“Oww!” He yelped. “There’s what?” His question went unanswered however, as Emmy had already taken off, running up the street. He sighed and took off after her. Emmy ran as fast as her 8 year old body could, sweat poring off of her. But she didn’t care. Once she turned left onto the coming street, there would be the food place! Alright here’s the turn. She thought happily to herself. - What hurt him?

One second she was running full speed, and the next everything had begun to spin. “Ugh...” she groaned weakly. She was vaguely aware of something above her, but she hadn’t the slightest clue as to what it was. She tried to lift her hand up and found that she couldn’t.
“Emmy?” The voice was hazy. “Emmy?! Oh god, no.”

Her vision was finally beginning to focus, and she saw the blue hair of her older friend. “A-Alex?” She whispered. He spun around, his eyes wide with worry. He faintly touched her head, and stopped when she flinched.

“That hurts huh?” He asked quietly. Emmy attempted to nod, and found her head wouldn’t move either.

“Why can’t I move?”

“You can’t move?”

“No.”

She watched his face turn from worry to sheer terror. He gently lifted her up and began to run. He can run faster than me. Emmy noticed. And he isn’t hurting me. Alex made sure to not hurt Emmy by jostling her more than he absolutely had to.

She closed her eyes and let herself try to rest. She knew he would take care of her. He always did. He was so much better than her father ever was. - Up to this point I am not aware of how old Alex is but now, I assume he is of fathering age. I'm sure at some point you will mention that he is 17 but by that stage, I will have been picturing him as a middle aged man and then I'd have to do that mental switch you do when you realise you got it wrong.

I guess my point is: Give me clues early on using voices, language, describing the setting. Don't make me think too hard or play join the dots because it will take away from what you are trying to tell me.

I hope I may have been of some use to you.

aliveatnight
July 1st, 2014, 02:36 PM
Yes, that was very helpful. Thank you!

Deafmute
July 1st, 2014, 02:58 PM
So I get the feeling this is an excerpt not a short story. I don't disagree with most of the comments left, and I think the big grammatical errors have been addressed. I would reiterate the common concern, that the end of the piece is completely ambiguous, to much so. It's fine if you don't want us know why she suddenly stopped and was hurting yet, so long as later on in the story we find out, but we do want to have a clear picture of what happened. Did she run into Alex was she hit by some spell, or shot by some sort of poison dart? Something needs to indicate what happened "As she ran she felt a sudden prick on her neck and suddenly stopped, a feeling of dizziness washing over her." just a hasty example but you get the picture I hope, give us some indication what is going on even if you don't tell us where it came from or what exactly it is.


aside from that this sounds like the beginning of an exciting, probably fantasy based, story, which I wouldn't mind reading more of. Good luck

HumanYoYo
July 30th, 2014, 06:04 AM
Yes, as others have said, it seems unfinished. It only feels like the beginning of a short story.
I like that as the reader, we do not exactly understand what happened because Emmy herself did understand what happened.
On another note, if Alex fears Emmy has broken her back, why would he pick her up at all? In that kind of situation, most people know that you wait for help to arrive and try to keep the person still.
Revision will help you quite a bit - again, as others have already stated.
Good luck!