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Free Short Story

I just finished a short story I’ve been working on every so often. The Way it Really Is, free to read on Dark Boundaries. It’s 4,000 words, and will probably get a couple more fine-tooth comb treatments before I put it on Smashwords. I haven’t thought much about a cover yet, so that’s another job coming up.

I’d be glad of any feedback you kind folks want to send my way. Is there anything that needs more work? I seem to be getting into first person point of view, but this is even more restricted than Within the Silence because there’s no dialogue at all. Another of my trips into a niche that very few people will care for.

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8 Comments

  1. Hooray for short stories! :)

    Here’s my dubious advice…

    Maybe break this 1 into 2 or 3 sentences: “I listen to these abolitionists telling me all about the history of slavery and how bonded service isn’t really that much different and how I’m being exploited and oppressed, and how we need to stop the whole thing before it becomes such a big part of the country’s economy that nobody will think there’s anything wrong with it.”

    The paragraph starting with: “The benefits wouldn’t have been as good anyway” I found a bit confusing. You’re switching people here, but I had to read farther down to figure it out. Maybe it’s just me.

    This add-on didn’t add anything for me: “and they’ll hardly be my kids anymore”

    Tighten this: “Well, now I know that’s never gonna happen, but maybe some of that stuff will help the kids get set up with their own lives when they’re ready to go out on their own.”

    Didn’t add anything for me: “That took a lot out of me.” and “It was a really hard time.”

    Divide and tighten: “Maybe if I hadn’t moved so far away, some of my friends would have stuck with me, but they all had their own problems, and people mostly don’t want to hang around with other people that remind them what could happen to them if bad luck comes down on them.”

    Didn’t add anything for me: “and it wasn’t any way to live”

    Add parentheses to “owners,” “bond holder,” and “contract holder”: “It was kind of funny in a way because I couldn’t help but notice that the people who were dead set against the new laws always called the bond holders owners…bond holder or contract holder.” And maybe add a comma to “holders owners” and pluralize “holder” in both places.

    I don’t know whether I’m going to run out of space in your comments, so I’ll stop here. :)

    • I’ll take a serious look at the points you noted, except for shortening the sentences. Well, maybe even those. This woman isn’t uneducated, but she isn’t a writer, either. Some people do speak and think in run-ons, and that’s what I wanted to convey. But she does have to breathe, so I’ll have to read them aloud. If I run out of breath, I’ll cut. I’m putting all comments into one text file so I can check them over and see what needs to be changed. Much thanks.

      This is one of the shortest things I’ve ever written. Trying to curb my inclination to try and turn everything into a novel.

  2. I haven’t figured out the trick to posting replies to older entries, so here’s a couple of comments to your past thoughts.

    “Asking [for betas] can feel like an imposition.”

    Oh, but some people like to edit for fun, just like some people like to write for fun. I agree, though, about the time problem.

    “I’m thinking it might be a good idea to remove the other foreign listings [at Amazon], which have resulted in no sales at all.”

    I’m not sure I understand your reasoning here. How will removing your listings improve your sales to those countries?

    • I wish I knew where I said that last. It looks pretty dumb, out of context, and I’m not sure it would look better if I remembered the context. A lapse of sanity?

  3. Catana, I’d ditch the first 3 sentences and start with the 4th as a question. I realise this would causes a problem with the title, but I’m not sure about the title, anyway.

    • Good suggestion. I’ve been thinking about changing the opening, anyway, but have been too busy to go back to it. The title is probably going to change but I have no ideas for a new one yet.

    • I can’t believe you went that far back. What’s interesting about rereading old posts is that I can see how my attitudes about things have sometimes changed. Hopefully, for the better, in some cases.

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