An exercise / Very short


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Thread: An exercise / Very short

  1. #1

    An exercise / Very short

    She was 21; an air of uncertainty floated above her romantic and contemplative mind. She had just returned from abroad. Colors intertwined with her senses, senses intertwined with buildings, buildings intertwined with imagination... She would always get goosebumps just at a day like today: ''Gosh, the time has gone so fast... I need to go back... Go back anywhere...''

    She was a passenger's soul. She remembered the white macadams as well as the dark, unforged soil trails. She remembered the stick in her hand and the hard backpack feeling. She remembered the little, wooden, romantic guesthouses with flowers in front of the doors, as well as the kind owners showing her the open roads ahead waiting for her. And, she remembered the handsome strangers she'd meet. They wanted her loneliness and her warming company, they wanted to caress her ring finger.

    Everytime she'd want to enumerate the countries to which she had been, her ten fingers and ten toes would not be enough. One or two would be missing. ''Do I really want to travel the whole world? Can I?'' she'd then ask herself, and become overly depressed. But what was interesting about her momentary depression was that this state would in turn evoke her deepest traveler instincts. She'd then get up all sweaty and take a bath.

    Afterwards, all clean and cleansed, she'd move gradually, step by step, to the sanctified place, to the place where her backpack and the wooden stick lie. The backpack is all ready for the next quest of her passenger's soul. ''What's the truth?'' she asks herself in a comfortable anguish. ''My memories are.'' She then tries to compose herself even more by lying on her back, invoking the macadam strangers who are caressing her toes under the starry sky. Strangers' whispers of sweet nothings are engulfing her, but aren't a limit. Quite the contrary. They are now enumerating the toes. She's a traveler through and through.

    She gets up from the floor and begins to plan the next journey. ''Now... where would I like to go next?'' she opens her collection of maps and uses her forefingers to close her eyes. Then she uses her ring finger to cross the Atlantic. ''Look, I'm a mermaid...'' she smiles. The whole world lies open under her palms. Just like daddy and mommy wanted; she was spoiled with gifts. Yet, she was deprived of her wishes to travel wherever and whenever. ''A mermaid deprived...'' crosses her mind.
    She had to think through and find out a chance, a way to try and finance her voyages on her own.
    Last edited by Ken11; July 1st, 2018 at 03:21 PM.

  2. #2
    This doesn't exactly seem like a children's or young adult (teen) story to me. I don't know how I would categorize it.

    Some points to note : numbers are typically written (twenty-one instead of 21); it meanders and rambles a bit; and you repeat yourself about the getting clean.

    The point of the story is not quite clear. Try writing it again with your message in mind.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Jack of all trades View Post
    This doesn't exactly seem like a children's or young adult (teen) story to me. I don't know how I would categorize it.

    Some points to note : numbers are typically written (twenty-one instead of 21); it meanders and rambles a bit; and you repeat yourself about the getting clean.

    The point of the story is not quite clear. Try writing it again with your message in mind.
    I'm still working on the story. Here is the following part, so you could comment on its value. Thanks.

    ---

    She was twenty-one and tired; an air of uncertainty floated above her romantic and contemplative mind. She had just returned from abroad. She would always get goosebumps just at a day like today: ''Gosh, the time has gone so fast... I need to go back... Go back anywhere...''

    She was a passenger's soul. She remembered the white macadams as well as the dark, unforged soil trails. She remembered the stick in her hand and the hard backpack feeling. Colors intertwined with her senses, senses intertwined with buildings, buildings intertwined with imagination about romances... She remembered the little, wooden, romantic guesthouses with flowers in front of the doors, as well as the kind owners showing her the open roads ahead waiting for her. And, she remembered the handsome strangers she'd meet. They wanted her loneliness and her warming company, they wanted to caress her ring finger.

    Everytime she'd want to enumerate the countries to which she had been, her ten fingers and ten toes would not be enough. One or two would be missing. ''Do I really want to travel the whole world? Can I?'' she'd then ask herself, and become overly depressed. But what was interesting about her momentary depression was that this state would in turn evoke her deepest traveler instincts. She'd then get up all sweaty and take a bath.

    Afterwards, all cleansed, she'd move gradually, step by step, to the sanctified place, to the place where her backpack and the wooden stick lie. The backpack is all ready for the next quest of her passenger's soul. ''What's the truth?'' she asks herself in a comfortable anguish. ''My memories are.'' She then tries to compose herself even more by lying on her back, invoking the macadam strangers who are caressing her toes under the starry sky. Strangers' whispers of sweet nothings are engulfing her, but aren't a limit. Quite the contrary. They are now enumerating the toes. It feels like traveling.

    She gets up from the floor and begins to plan her next journey. ''Now... where would I like to go next?'' she opens her collection of maps and uses her forefingers to close her eyes. Then she uses her ring finger to cross the Atlantic. ''Look, I'm a mermaid...'' she smiles. The whole world lies open under her palms. Just like daddy and mommy wanted; she was spoiled with gifts. Yet, she was deprived of her wishes to go traveling whenever and wherever she wanted. ''A mermaid deprived...'' crosses her mind.
    She had to think through and find out a chance, a way to try and finance her voyages on her own.

    But, can it be easy, is it feasible?, she contemplates as if paralyzed. ''Am I going to become a waitress or something?!'' Many of her friends wait tables. But it's such a boredom! What she needs is freedom, to be free from the shackles of a day's routine. She's unconventional, she thinks. She thinks she's special. She doesn't have any credit no more. All of the fingers and toes have been spent. Life is cruel, she reaches her conclusion. And the world has so much to offer!
    The world is a big place, it just sits there and expects somebody – anybody! Let's go and visit it. But let's go and fall asleep first.

    No dreams are coming to her pillow this night, yet many are asleep. She envys them. They have the life they want and need. If only she could be like them! Get up in the morning, have a toast and orange juice, go for a run, take the kids to school, then go to work. She would like to be like that, but where are the macadams and the unforged soil trails in this scenario? Where are the romances and their buildings? Where are the dreams of the ring fingers? Nowhere.
    All of these people are robots. Nothing more than robots. And she doesn't want to end up like them. The pillow is getting softer. She falls asleep holding her ring finger.
    The next morning she visits the local restaurants. She takes a look through the glasses. She gets a clearer view. She sees happy people enjoying their lunch and dinner. She leaves her favourite pink bicycle, puts a red coat on end enters a restaurant.

    ''Could you help me, please? I'm looking for a job. I need the money for my next voyages. They are very expensive, you know.''

    A waiter is giving her a strange look, and adds:

    ''Move your bicycle. Is it yours? If it is, move it elsewhere.''

    She returns to her bicycle and moves it a hundred yards away, by a post office.

    Then she comes back to the restaurant, her forehead is sweaty. She's in anguish. But, she needs the money.

    ''Here I am again. Do you need waitresses?''

    The waiter takes a good look at her figure. ''Yes, you could pass as our waitress. Have you worked as a waitress before?''

    ''No, I haven't. But I need money as I said. I'll be good at waiting tables, you know.'' she's resolute.

    ''Come tomorrow, and we'll see. Are you sure you'll come?'' the waiter is taking another look at her. Than he takes a pose as if to say: 'you better be good, or we'll kick you out to whatever country you wanna go to'. You know, she's a good interpreter of body language.

    Well aware that this is her chance, she presses her fists, feeling her fingers. Than she takes a stroll to her bicycle feeling her toes, pressing them. This gives her a sense of wellbeing. She's sweaty and left-handed, she wipes her forehead and eyes. She's reducing her velocity as she reaches the place where she has left her bicycle.

    She thinks: ''Something goes on in the post office -- some kind of hustle an' bustle.''

    ''On the ground!!!, on the grooouuund!!!'' People are yelling, a shootout takes place. She sits on the bicycle now, a large pistol is being pointed at her forehead. It starts to sweat again. She spits in the direction of the criminal. She thinks: ''His professional uniform is black. It doesn't stain.'' The attacker wipes the spit off with the bags he's carrying. Other two criminals are aproaching her, telling her to forget what she saw. She doesn't know what fear is. Yet, she sweats.

    The criminals are shooting in all directions, people are taking shelter behind trees, a wheelchair has been hit... She's a witness to all of this. Yet, she's thinking of all the money that has been stolen. Just how many voyages could I realize with so much money, thinks she as if being a criminal's buddy.

    The criminals' van disappears and the hidden men and women, children, appear. She sweats again. She enters the post office. She can see people still lying on the ground, some of them have taken strange positions, one over the other, as if they were dead. Others are shaking. They are asking her when is the police going to come. The light of cars is casting shadows within the post office. She realizes it's the police and the ambulance.

    People with bloody hands are reaching for her shouting for help. She's stepping back. Suddenly she's been grabbed from behind by an officer and pulled aside. ''You're in our way!'' he shouts. She is stepping back some more, she's in someones way again. She reaches her bicycle and leaves the place. It's 12:04 pm. A chopper is buzzing.

    When she gets home, she tells her daddy and mommy what's happened. Both of them live in worlds of their own. It freaks her out sometimes: they never believe what she says.

    ''So, a gun was being pointed at your head? So what?''

    ''Hey, I'm your daughter, you have to believe me. I'm the victim of your upbringing here. It's not about you or daddy.''

    ''Listen to your mother, and you'll have a bigger allowance.''

    ''Hey, I got myself a job today.''

    ''How, when?''

    ''Was it during the shootout?''

    ''No, mommy, before.''

    ''Have you been drinking again?'' asks her mommy.

    The questioned one is silent.

    ''Does this mean 'yes'?''

    She goes to her room, and takes her favourite position on the floor. She spreads her arms and legs and forms a star. She waits for the night to come. In that mood, she falls asleep on the floor. She dreams about the day to come.

  4. #4
    Ken, I'm not sure about this one. I've read both posts, and I found them both a little confusing. I know this may sound silly - I am not a poet - but this reminds of how some poetry makes me feel. Like there is a hidden meaning behind the words that I am just not getting. Your MC has traveled to many places, and yet she still lives at home with parents who are not concerned about her. Has she traveled only in her mind? Well, she is old enough to apply for a job as a waitress, so maybe she has actually traveled before in real time. I am not warming to her at all. Her inner-most thoughts do not - to me at least - reveal herself. She appears to only think of traveling to other places and sees people (who are happy) with families as something she also wants to have, but doesn't want to have at the same time. She calls these happy people "robots." Why?

    People with bloody hands are reaching for her shouting for help. She's stepping back. Suddenly she's been grabbed from behind by an officer and pulled aside. ''You're in our way!'' he shouts. She is stepping back some more, she's in someones way again. She reaches her bicycle and leaves the place. It's 12:04 pm. A chopper is buzzing.
    She appears to have no compassion at all for others, but somehow sees herself as a victim, as someone who is "in the way." Again. She also sweats a great deal, which comes across more as showing more than telling. Tell us why she is sweating, how the moment makes her feel, instead of just the physical results.

    Other two criminals are aproaching her, telling her to forget what she saw. She doesn't know what fear is. Yet, she sweats.
    Formatting wise, there are several issues. There seems to be an issue of tense; vacillating between present and past. The first above quote shows that. I would strongly suggest you read your work out loud so you can pick up on these things.

    I think it might be a good idea to define your MC a little better. Make us love her and feel an emotion around her wish to travel to distant places. Why is she so driven? Is she running to a place; or away from something? Who is she? What is her background? What has she done in the past to earn money to travel? Why does she speak so oddly to her parents? What is she thinking? Why doesn't she "know what fear is?"

    I think this could work, with quite a bit of polishing. Like Jack, I do not really see this as a young adult or children's story. Keep writing!
    When the night has come
    And the land is dark
    And the moon is the only light we'll see
    I won't be afraid, no I won't be afraid
    Just as long as you stand by me.


  5. #5
    Try giving her a name. This is written in third person, so you don't need to have anyone say her name. And help us understand her better.

    Why does she get goosebumps when she returns from traveling? Is it fear or excitement?

    What does having a romantic and contemplative mind mean to you? It might not mean the same thing to me. That's one of those things that might benefit from a bit of showing. Give us a few of those romantic and contemplative thoughts.

    Just a couple thoughts of mine.

  6. #6
    I want so much to enjoy this. I can see a hint of a coming of age story in there, but to be honest I have no idea what is going on.

    I get kicked out of the story by my questions. Is she dead/dying/a ghost? Is she travelling via out of body experience? Why didn’t the robbers shoot her? They shot others. Again is she a ghost or apparition? Maybe an Angel?

    I don’t want you to think I am being rude, that is not my intention and if it comes across as that I am sorry.
    Do you know what this story is about? Have you got the progression in mind or on paper?

    Having said all that well done. Keep writing I want to read more.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Dormouse View Post
    I want so much to enjoy this. I can see a hint of a coming of age story in there, but to be honest I have no idea what is going on.

    I get kicked out of the story by my questions. Is she dead/dying/a ghost? Is she travelling via out of body experience? Why didn’t the robbers shoot her? They shot others. Again is she a ghost or apparition? Maybe an Angel?

    I don’t want you to think I am being rude, that is not my intention and if it comes across as that I am sorry.
    Do you know what this story is about? Have you got the progression in mind or on paper?

    Having said all that well done. Keep writing I want to read more.
    If you want to read more go to fantasy, sci-fi and horror, there you'll find a thread of mine titled Angelica or not. Hope you'll like it

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