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Roo2503
January 3rd, 2017, 09:47 PM
-- Taken down to rewrite. Back soon.

EmmaSohan
January 4th, 2017, 03:20 AM
magical. Did you mean the New Year's message as kind of "too much"?

Roo2503
January 4th, 2017, 06:20 AM
Yes...absolutely...

EmmaSohan
January 4th, 2017, 01:15 PM
Yes...absolutely...

So well done. Congratulations.

Roo2503
January 4th, 2017, 02:05 PM
Sorry I am not very good at talking about my own work...

Burkholder
January 5th, 2017, 02:07 PM
Hey! Only two concerns!

1. I'd cut down the length of the obnoxious facebook post a bit. I know its job is to be annoying, but I think you go achieve the same idea with less words.
2. The scene could be set better in the beginning. I had them at a campsite until a kitchen all of the sudden appeared. Maybe use the word fireplace instead of fire?

Really digging this piece though!! Even though it works on its own, continue with it!

Roo2503
January 5th, 2017, 02:57 PM
Thanks Burkholder.... great advice.... That has helped my opening a great deal! Will take a look at the annoying FB message..I had so much fun writing it that I may have taken it too far! thanks

Burkholder
January 5th, 2017, 04:42 PM
Thanks Burkholder.... great advice.... That has helped my opening a great deal! Will take a look at the annoying FB message..I had so much fun writing it that I may have taken it too far! thanks
So glad I could help! This was my first critique on here and it felt weird af! And yeah it is very clear that you had fun writing the facebook post because you nailed the tone PERFECTLY. I just think some of those words would be better served developing the couple's relationship in the beginning. Dammit I got attached to them with the amount of time you devoted to them as is! Probably because you retold how my new years eve went...[emoji19]

Ibb
January 5th, 2017, 08:26 PM
I think it's a wonderful piece of writing that does not require the changes Burkholder suggests; however, be open to all advice and follow your inner ear when deciding to whom you'll listen. The longwinded sincerity read like something I could easily pluck at random from something on my Facebook page and put here. Great job on that end. Contrasting her words with the reality of her situation brought the irony further home. This reads like a piece of dark comedy--whatever your intention, the end result is satisfying. Good job on this one, good luck on your next one. You have talent.

Roo2503
January 5th, 2017, 10:45 PM
Thanks Ibb.... I always seem to end up writing stories on the side of dark humour....I guess I am just a dark SOB..... Really appreciate your comments.

Burkholder
January 5th, 2017, 11:34 PM
I think it's a wonderful piece of writing that does not require the changes Burkholder suggests; however, be open to all advice and follow your inner ear when deciding to whom you'll listen. The longwinded sincerity read like something I could easily pluck at random from something on my Facebook page and put here. Great job on that end. Contrasting her words with the reality of her situation brought the irony further home. This reads like a piece of dark comedy--whatever your intention, the end result is satisfying. Good job on this one, good luck on your next one. You have talent.
Well now don't I feel personally challenged lol! If this was the intro to a novella or other longer work the length of the facebook post wouldn't matter as much but this is, I believe, meant to be a self contained short story and in short stories the goal is to use words as economically as possible. If the length of the post was cut in half and those extra words were used to explore the couples fraying relationship then the melodramatic, fake facebook post would appear twice as ridiculous and use half the words.
I hope I conveyed how much I really did enjoy the piece but I thought the entire point of this forum was to engage in critical conversations about each others work so we can grow as writers. Offering nothing besides praise does nothing to help anyone grow. Roo knows exactly what they did right in this piece. Its our job to analyse what fell flat so the piece can kick even more ass then it already does.

H.Brown
January 6th, 2017, 02:12 AM
When Steve and I returned to the cabin from our walk he asked if I wanted to snuggle by the fireplace. He'd (had) spent most of the day chopping wood and wanted to burn some of his hard work. ‘I’ll even make some cocoa as well,’ he said, grinning like an idiot.

‘I’m not in the mood,’ I said, pulling off a Wellington boot. ‘Things to do.’

‘But it’s New Years Eve.’

‘It won’t take long.’ I closed the door and sat on the couch. I pulled off one of my socks and rubbed the ball of my foot.

He sighed and shook his head in that way he did whenever he sulked.He sighed,shock his head the same way he always did when he sulked. (I think would work better IMO) He went into the kitchen and stomped about, opening cupboard doors then (and) letting them slam shut. I heard the clanking of beer bottles and the rustling of plastic bags. When he came back into the lounge he had on his fishing jersey and carried his tackle in one hand and a bag full of beers in the other.

‘You’re going fishing now?’ I said.

‘Yes, what’s it to you?’

‘But it’s so cold.’

He nodded towards my laptop. ‘I’d rather freeze my arse off than watch you stare at your Facebook wall all night.’

‘But I need to write my New Year’s message.’

‘New Year’s message? Who the hell do you think you are? The Queen?’ He grabbed his parka from the coat stand and put it on.

‘Don’t be an arsehole,’ I said.

‘How about you make an early resolution?’ he said. ‘Give up all this Facebook shit and get back into the real world.’

‘There is nothing wrong with wanting to communicate with people.’

‘Telling people what you had for lunch is not communicating,’ he said. ‘And nor is writing ambiguous messages like, “Had such a terrible day,” just to invite all your friends to say things like “inbox me babes,” or, “PM me hunny.” That shit is not communication. It’s just plain narcissism.’

He ran his hand across his stubbled chin. I liked the sound it made. It reminded me of matches being struck on matchboxes.

‘It won’t take long,’ I said.

He shrugged. ‘Take as long as you want.’ He stormed out of the cabin.

I heard his footsteps crunch on the gravelled drive until they disappeared into the night. I looked out of the window and watched him walk into the icy darkness. The lake was one-hundred metres away down a slope. I worried about him because Steve was not the most sure-footed of men but I felt reassured because there was a shack on the far side that had gas heaters and a pontoon to cast his line from. He would be safe and warm there and hopefully in the company of other fishermen. I hoped he caught a fish or two. As I sat down and flipped open my laptop I thought about the smell of fresh trout in the morning. With the sun shining through the kitchen window that sure would make a great start to the New Year.

It took me an hour to write my New Year’s post. When it was finished I read it about a dozen times, checking for typos and fakeness. I never post anything until I am sure that it sounds sincere. There is nothing worse than a transparent Facebook post. Just to make sure, I read my New Year’s message one last time.

‘So it’s New Year and a very new me guys. Steve and I rented a cabin for the night and what a beautiful time we are having. We have walked and talked and I really feel that we have moved on from the troubles we had last year.We've walked, talked, I really think we have moved on...(this shortens the sentence which I think fits the overall flow of tth piece.) Walking really gets things going on an emotional level for me. I plan on doing much more walking this year. My soul has never felt so cleansed!

Tonight Steve and I walked through the most enchanted forest ever. It was like something from Harry Potter. There was mist on the floor and mystery in the air. Adventure lurked at every turn. This year has not been a good one for me (those that know know). Just want to thank you all (you know who you are) for getting me through this tough time. I can tell you all that Benji is making a great recovery and the vet says he will be as good as new in a couple of months.

So from Me, Benji, and Steve I just want to wish you all a happy new year. Let’s make a promise to remind ourselves everyday that we should cherish every second and not let any opportunity pass us by because we were too scared to take a chance. This year I want us all to dance, sing, laugh, paint, potter, savour, smell, learn, imagine, dare, dream, be extraordinary, be outrageous, be grateful, be weird, be wild, be willing to say no to naysayers and yes to positivity and be free to be who the hell we all want to be! This is a very long sentence could you maybe split it up to make it fit into the fast pace of the rest of your writing?Above all I want us all to LOVE! Love with all your heart because only then can you receive the gift that is love. I hope you all receive as much love this year as I did last year. I came across this quote today on Pinterest. It totally sums up where my head is right now (and where I intend to keep it).

‘You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching,

Love like you’ll never be hurt,

Sing like there’s nobody listening,

And live like it’s heaven on earth.’

And if I can add something to that, it would​ be this — ‘Live for the now and never look back! Treasure the time you have with loved ones as you never know what might happen in the future.’

I love you all. Now did someone say hot chocolate and snuggles by the fire? Yes Please! I am such a very lucky girl! Oh and Steve has just returned with a handful of fish for breakfast — Food Heaven!

Love and light to all of you.

xxxxxxxxxx

I posted my New Year’s message at eight-seventeen pm. By quarter to nine I had received fifty-six likes and seventeen comments. Come ten o clock that figure had doubled. All my work colleagues had liked and reacted to my post including my boss who also commented by telling me how grateful she was to have me on her team! Instantly I went to her page and liked her New Year’s Post despite it being the blandest thing ever written. Who the hell just says, ‘Wishing you all a happy and prosperous new year!’

My likes and comments increased and come eleven pm I had over eighty likes and forty comments. Miranda from accounts said she couldn’t wait to spend more time with me and signed off by saying that I was the wackiest, weirdest and most wonderful person she had ever met. I clicked onto her page and liked all the photos she had put up of her Spaniel wearing a New Year’s party hat. It was adorable. Unlike her five year old son who I swear had three sixes carved into his head somewhere.

It was just after eleven and my likes and comments had surpassed my initial expectations. My New Year’s message had really worked. It was then that I looked at the ticking wall clock. It was eleven-seventeen pm. Steve had not returned. I tried calling him but there was no answer. Another ten likes and six comments later and he had still not returned.

It was nearly twenty to midnight when someone knocked on the cabin door.

‘Who is it?’

‘It’s the site manager,’ a deep voice said.

‘What do you want?’

‘I’m with the police Ma’am,’ he said. ‘We need to see you.’

‘What about?’

There was a low murmur of voices and then someone else spoke to me. I guess it was the policeman.

‘Miss Simpkins please open the door,’ he said. ‘There has been an accident.’

The End.

Great story. It draged me in from the start, I enjoyed the setting and the twist you put in onn your facebook section about steve returning with fish when in fact he still has not returned, it lulled me into thinking everything would be fine so I did not see the police showing up coming.

You set and maintain the scene, I have added my critique in red for you, it is just a few small things but overall a brilliant piece of writing.

Carry on writing :-)

Roo2503
January 6th, 2017, 04:42 PM
H.Brown.... thanks a lot for taking the time to read my story and thanks for the great critique. I think your points will indeed make my story flow better. To be amended soon...

Thanks