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A quick story (1 Viewer)

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Senior Member
I work for a diner. Jack’s to be exact. The restaurant itself isn’t such successful as McDonald’s or so. However, our food is made 100% with love. Even the fries are fresh and hand-made!
Today, the restaurant is almost empty. There are just two men, who sit at one of those typical tables. The man, who sits right, is a fat guy with brown, tousled hair. The left one is the athlete. They’re very opposite.
“Hi! My name’s Abby and I’m your waitress tonight.” I say.
“Hi, Abby! I’m Tony and that’s Dakota.” The fat man jokes.
I laugh. “Soooo, can I take your order?”
Tony leans back. The red leather of the seats infiltrates. Man! He should make a diet. “Yah! I get a cheeseburger menu. With a coke, please.”
“Ok. A cheeseburger menu with coke. And for you?” I point at the sporty guy.
“I take that, too. But with seven up instead.”
“We have Sprite,” I answer.
“If I wanted a Sprite, I’d said it. Do you have milkshakes here?”
“Yes? Chocolate? Vanilla? Or strawberry?”
“Chocolate, please?”
Tony raise his hand. “For me, too. So, instead of the coke.”
I scribble the word Coke and write instead of it Two milkshakes, chocolate with my pen beside it. “Ok. Please, wait a minute.” I go in the direction of the kitchen.

Jack, the owner, stands there. His pinafore has a huge fat spot in the middle. On his face are sweat beads, which are created by the heat. The kitchen is a sauna. I don’t need a wellness vacation. I could book a night here!
“A new order!” I said. Jack groans.

When I am back, I give the men their order. Just the milkshake yet.
Clank! Clank! Both milkshake glasses fall down and brake. Now a huge brown mud is on the face of Tony. And another huge is on Dakota’s white polo shirt.
“Oh! I’m sorry!” I try to go to fetch some napkins. But Tony grabs my shoulder.
“Where. Is. Your. Boss!” He sounds dangerous with his deep voice.
“Err…” I have no other answer.
Dakota clears his shirt. “Calm down, Tony!”
“NO! I wanna that this hussy gets fired.”
“Is there a problem?” Jack is now behind me.
“Yes! Your employee has wrecked my face.”
“I’m sorry, sir. It was a mishap.” Jack gives him a napkin.
“I wanna that you fire her.”
“No. And now, please, leave this restaurant!”
Tony stamps away angrily. Dakota pays.
“Please, be more careful next time. Tony can be … pissed off quickly.”


Staff member
Senior Mentor
Art, I'm sorry but I don't understand the point of your story. There are several misspelled words and the grammar is not correct in a lot of places. Sometimes it's hard to critique something when you are so distracted by the condition of the writing.

What are you trying to say with this story? The accident with the milkshakes is a little muddled and you might consider re-writing. Sorry I couldn't be of more help.

Ralph Rotten

Staff member
Artemis: Good effort! I actually liked the start where you just start off talking about your burger joint. It would be cool if you elaborated a bit more on the place, it seemed like a good spot to show how quirky the place is, something funny or bizarre about the place. In the opening lines I was actually imagining McDougals in the movie Coming to America. But then you switched to dialog.

Keep practicing, feel free to talk it up in that opening paragraph. :salut:

Jack of all trades

Senior Member
One works at a diner, not for one.

It seemed a little forced. Try relaxing. It's not always necessary to get all the details up front. And putting them in the context usually works better. That's part of the "show, don't tell" advice.

Maybe you could start the story with a conversation between the waitress and Jack. Or a loyal customer comes in and tells the two that he drove past the MacDonald's just to get Jack's homemade fries. Work it into the story.

The description of the two should also be worked in. Maybe that loyal customer asks the waitress if she's interested in one or the other, referring to their features.

I know I've added a character to your story, which goes against my usual rule of not putting my own personality into someone else's story, but this is just to show one way to flesh this out a bit.

I look forward to seeing how you decide to improve this.


This was... a little hard to read. There are a lot of grammatical errors, and the dialogue is rushed and stilted. Not that I'm trying to discourage you. It was a good effort, and I think that with a little polish you can make this shine. But definitely pay attention to the grammatical errors, and slow the pace down a little bit. Stretch it out a bit more, would be my advice. As for the dialogue, try reading it out loud to get a feel for how it sounds. That helps me when I write.

Again, it's not bad. So don't get discouraged! It just needs a little love and polish, that's all.


Senior Member
this is like the start..... of a story right. because, nothing happens. its an alright start has some errors, but keep going, i guess...


Senior Member
Not sure how much help I can offer - this is more of a scene than a story, so you'll need to add quite a lot to make it impactful. You did a good job of working in descriptive details, but like another member pointed out, they could be sprinkled in better through context.

Your first line: I work for a diner. Jack’s to be exact.

Certainly could be condensed: I work at Jack's Diner. It's not as successful as McDonald's, but...

My biggest piece of advice is to add another two thousand words, beginning, middle, and end, to make it a story.

Thanks for letting us take a look!


Staff member
Media Manager
I'm intrigued by the two customers. Are they crooks? Traveling salesmen? Undercover cops? What's their story? Why is Tony so angry? Is he always like that or just irritated because his last mob hit did not go as planned? Is Dakota interested in Abby? Is Abby interested in Dakota? Are those even their real names?

So many questions.

I demand answers! :mrgreen:

Also, I agree that you should read your story out loud. It helps you spot grammar errors and also helps you see if the dialogue has authenticity (not saying your story's dialogue isn't authentic, but it could be even better).

Thanks for posting and keep at it!


Staff member
Chief Mentor

The whole purpose of a workshop like this is to help each other improve as writers. Every single writer who has responded to your post has, in his or her turn, submitted work and benefitted from the comments of their fellow writers.

Sometimes the benefit comes from disagreeing with what the other writer had to say. But deciding the other writer is 'wrong' makes you re-read your work very closely and helps you understand more closely what you are trying to do.

My difficulty with your story is grabbing what you are trying to do. The details are very simple: two guys order food. The waitress spills a drink; one guy gets mad.

What's going on, Artemis? This story needs MORE. . .to make the reader CARE. I am intrigued. There is enough here to do that. . .but barely enough. This is not yet a story!Please consider this:

The King entered the room and sat down.
The Queen entered the room and sat down.
Sir Lancelot entered the room and bowed.

And that's it. A sensible response from a reader might be, "Huh?" or "so what?" or "who gives a shit?" There is no mystery. Just three actions that do not come together in some way.

How about this:

The King entered the room and sat down.
The Queen entered the room and sat down.
Sir Lancelot entered the room and bowed.
The Queen blushed and twisted her hands in her lap.

I won't even argue the case. You're a smart guy and will immediately have seen the difference in reader response. In your own response.

So what do you want from this forum, Artemis? Speaking for myself--I'm a writer. It's my passion and I love to share it. Other writers have encouraged you and already commented on your piece, and you should pay close attention to their suggestions.

I have to make an assumption here: that you want to become a better writer. THAT is why you're here. If you just want to talk a bit about writing, that's fine, but that is not what this forum is all about.

Carrying my assumption forward--that you're serious about becoming a writer--do yourself a favour and read Hemingway's "A Clean Well-Lighted Place". A VERY short story, set in a restaurant , involving waiters etc. I will be very interested in your comments on the story. Here's the text of the story:




Staff member
Chief Mentor
ARTEMIS -- You posted "A Quick Story" over two months ago. Since then, members have responded with suggestions for improvement, and virtually everyone has encouraged you to 'keep going', to 'keep at it', 'don't be discouraged'. . .etc. No group I have met on the 'net is more supportive of young or inexperienced writers than this one. If you want to learn the craft of writing, you are in the right place.

I too have encouraged you. You're a young guy. I'm an old guy. You know a little bit about writing. I know a lot. It is my responsibility in this or any other culture to pass on what I know to you, who does not. Sounds pretty straightforward. . .and it is a process that has worked for thousands of years. Of course, it assumes
that the old guy is prepared to give, and the young guy is prepared to receive.

There is ZERO evidence that the young guy is prepared to receive. . .or do anything else. Members of this Forum have reached out to you with encouraging hands, but you have not even had the courtesy to respond. Perhaps there is some reason for your silence. Who knows? There is a great line from Shakespeare's King Lear: "Nothing will come of nothing." And that's where I am with you. I'm confident I speak for other members of this forum when I say that I am prepared to help you with your writing, but I am totally unprepared to pursue you. I'm not your mother. Step up to the plate and acknowledge the members who have cared enough to reach out to you, and indicate clearly that you are on this WRITING forum to work on your WRITING, or you will hear nothing further from me.
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