writing a short story. how's the first paragraph?

Page 1 of 1 [ 13 posts ] 

aaronrey
Toucan
Toucan

User avatar

Joined: 30 Jul 2007
Age: 38
Gender: Male
Posts: 297

25 Apr 2008, 1:07 pm

A Daughter's Duty

Jessica sat on a chair next to the hospital bed. The fingers of her hands fiddled nervously. Her eyes showed the weariness of someone who had not slept much in days. In front of her lied an elderly woman. Her frail figure was accessorized with medical tubes and wires. She slept peacefully despite her rather heavy breath. Jessica reached for the old woman's right hand and held it tight in her own. With a heavy sigh, she closed her eyes.



ouinon
Supporting Member
Supporting Member

User avatar

Joined: 10 Jul 2007
Age: 55
Gender: Female
Posts: 6,455
Location: Europe

25 Apr 2008, 1:24 pm

aaronrey wrote:
How's the first paragraph?

Static.

:study:



aaronrey
Toucan
Toucan

User avatar

Joined: 30 Jul 2007
Age: 38
Gender: Male
Posts: 297

25 Apr 2008, 1:48 pm

this is what i got so far:
-----------------------------
A Daughter's Duty

Wednesday, April 9


Jessica sat on a chair next to the hospital bed. The fingers of her hands fiddled nervously. Her eyes showed the weariness of someone who had not slept much in days. In front of her lied an elderly woman. Her frail figure was accessorized with medical tubes and wires. She slept peacefully despite her rather heavy breath. Jessica reached for the old woman's right hand and held it tight with her own. With a heavy sigh, she closed her eyes.

"Don't worry too much. The doctor said mom will be fine."

Jessica looked to her right and smiled to the young man standing next to her. His presence that day had been a breath of fresh air. She didn't know if she could've last the day without him being there.

"I'm going home now," he said while looking at his watch. "I have to be ready for work in 6 hours so I'm going to need some sleep. Are you staying here again today?"

"Yes. Thank you for coming in today, Andrew. You really helped a lot."

"Hey, I'm her child as well. It's my duty too."

Jessica got up to send her brother out of the room and walked back slowly to her mother's side. Her eyes was running on reserves but she didn't feel like sleeping. It had been four days since she had proper sleep. Ever since her mother was admitted to the hospital, she had barely eaten and had only slept less than four hours a day. "I'm her only daughter," thought Jessica. "I have to be at her side all the time until she gets better." She closed her eyes and tried to remember the incident that sent her mother into the room where they had stayed for three nights.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I plan to have a flashback to sunday where her mom suddenly got ill and she had to be rushed to the hospital. then move forward to monday and tuesday where she had visitors. jessica's interactions and conversatons with the visitors will show us more about jessica and how she felt throughout the story.



ouinon
Supporting Member
Supporting Member

User avatar

Joined: 10 Jul 2007
Age: 55
Gender: Female
Posts: 6,455
Location: Europe

25 Apr 2008, 1:58 pm

:study:



Last edited by ouinon on 28 Apr 2008, 2:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

lelia
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 11 Apr 2007
Age: 67
Gender: Female
Posts: 3,189
Location: Vancouver not BC, Washington not DC

25 Apr 2008, 2:09 pm

Not bad at all. However, if I were writing this story I would combine some of the sentences. Since you are writing the story and not me, feel free to ignore my demonstrations. Oh, and there's a few cliches I would also dump. One uses them in a first draft because they are what come to mind first as one is describing the scene. In the second draft, one takes the cliches and tries to find other ways to say the same thing ie breath of fresh air could be encouragement or an oak tree for her to cling to or....

Jessica fiddled with her hair and blinked aching eyes as she sat next to the hospital bed. Even breathing hurt, but she could not see a way to sleep yet, not yet, not while her frail mother lay festooned with medical tubes and wires and beeping machines, not while her mother's breathing rasped, not while she slept unaware of what her daughter still needed from her and never got. She stroked her mother's mottled hand, sighed, and closed her eyes.

I added some details that may not be pertinent to your story, but are the kind of thing that adds drama.



aaronrey
Toucan
Toucan

User avatar

Joined: 30 Jul 2007
Age: 38
Gender: Male
Posts: 297

25 Apr 2008, 2:11 pm

thanks ^^. i guess i'll be doing a lot of editing.



ouinon
Supporting Member
Supporting Member

User avatar

Joined: 10 Jul 2007
Age: 55
Gender: Female
Posts: 6,455
Location: Europe

25 Apr 2008, 3:55 pm

:study:



Last edited by ouinon on 28 Apr 2008, 2:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

Thomas1138
Velociraptor
Velociraptor

User avatar

Joined: 5 Apr 2008
Age: 40
Gender: Male
Posts: 488

26 Apr 2008, 12:31 am

You seriously shouldn't be stopping to edit a short story before it's finished. Get it all down as fast as you can, then you submit it for proofreading.



Prescription
Emu Egg
Emu Egg

User avatar

Joined: 26 Apr 2008
Age: 26
Gender: Male
Posts: 7
Location: Southeast U.S.

28 Apr 2008, 9:10 pm

I like it. The language is descriptive, but relatively easy for most people to understand. You seem to mention the character's name too often instead of using "her" or "she". Don't worry about that, though, and try to finish a first draft of the story and then edit it.


_________________
Give a man a fire, and he's warm for the day. But set fire to him, and he's warm for the rest of his life.
-Terry Pratchett


lelia
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 11 Apr 2007
Age: 67
Gender: Female
Posts: 3,189
Location: Vancouver not BC, Washington not DC

14 May 2008, 5:37 pm

I hope you listened to the other posters and wrote out the whole story before editing. Sometimes the beginning changes radically because of what you discovered while writing the story. I know people who have polished and polished the first page for years and never wrote the rest of the story.
So, are you finished yet? Can I see it?



pakled
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 12 Nov 2007
Age: 61
Gender: Male
Posts: 7,827

18 May 2008, 5:41 pm

what was she lying about?...;)

sorry, that's the first thing I saw. As with the others above, just get it all in the PC (or on paper...ya Luddites...;), then do the proofing...;)



ebec11
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 17 Jan 2008
Age: 26
Gender: Female
Posts: 7,043
Location: Ottawa, Ontario

19 May 2008, 1:04 pm

aaronrey wrote:
A Daughter's Duty

Jessica sat on a (describe the chair) chair next to the hospital bed. The fingers of her hands (worded awkwardly. You don't need to say of her hands, as fingers are always on a hand) fiddled nervously. Her eyes showed the weariness of someone who had not slept much in days. (There's an expression my writing class has. There are lines which show what something means without saying it, and there are stuff that just tells it to you. You should attempt to show that she's tired without telling it to the audience) In front of her lied an elderly woman. Her frail figure was accessorized (not a good word choice...it sounds too pretty. Maybe entangled or covered?) with medical tubes and wires. She slept peacefully despite her heavy breath(ing). Jessica reached for the old woman's right (not needed) hand and held it tight in her own. With a heavy sigh, she closed her eyes.


I hope this isn't too harsh, I just love giving harsh edits. It's actually pretty good, it just need some editing (Don't hand ANYTHING in without at least two edits from somebody else)



ebec11
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 17 Jan 2008
Age: 26
Gender: Female
Posts: 7,043
Location: Ottawa, Ontario

19 May 2008, 1:05 pm

aaronrey wrote:
A Daughter's Duty

Jessica sat on a (describe the chair) chair next to the hospital bed. The fingers of her hands (worded awkwardly. You don't need to say of her hands, as fingers are always on a hand) fiddled nervously. Her eyes showed the weariness of someone who had not slept much in days. (There's an expression my writing class has. There are lines which show what something means without saying it, and there are stuff that just tells it to you. You should attempt to show that she's tired without telling it to the audience) In front of her lied an elderly woman. Her frail figure was accessorized (not a good word choice...it sounds too pretty. Maybe entangled or covered?) with medical tubes and wires. She slept peacefully despite her heavy breath(ing). Jessica reached for the old woman's right (not needed) hand and held it tight in her own. With a heavy sigh, she closed her eyes.


I hope this isn't too harsh, I just love giving harsh edits. It's actually pretty good, it just need some editing (Don't hand ANYTHING in without at least two edits from somebody else)