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The strange woman

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  #1  
Old 01-05-2018, 05:58 AM
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Default The strange woman


This will be a small piece of a bigger story.



A pregnant girl was sitting in a bus wishing she was already home. Her feet were swollen, her head hurt, and the baby was pressing on her bladder making her even more uncomfortable. Through the dirty bus window she was counting passing street laps which glimmered in the greyish dusk making this rainy winter afternoon a mixture of magical and sad. She heard the voice in speaker announce her stop and as she turned her eyes away from the window she was met with an intense stare of big, wide open, pale blue pair of eyes belonging to a woman sitting a few rows in front of her. The girl felt shivers down her spine, she stood up and felt the woman’s stare as she approached the door and exited quickly as soon as the bus stopped. She turned around one last time to look into the bus, into those unsettling, unblinking eyes, and as the door closed she felt almost paralyzed and managed to move only after the bus had disappeared around the corner.

When the girl got off, the pale-eyed woman, as if coming out from a trance, closed her eyes and wrinkles of pain and struggle showed up on her face. She clenched her fists and as she opened her eyes up again a few tears rolled down her cheeks.

She hated when this happened, but could never stop it, even when she felt it coming. She got off the bus and ran home. As soon as she stepped over the threshold she grabbed her phone and called the only person who would understand what she was going through.

- Hi, Anita. What’s up? – a deep, soothing male voice answered. She took a deep breath and an almost invisible smile showed up on her face.
- Hey, do you have a second?
- Sure, I actually just got home. Is everything ok? – Anita paused. The answer to this question was more complicated than just simple yes or no.
- Um… yeah, I don’t know. I mean, I guess it is. It’s just that…

The woman knew that she could talk to him about anything, but this was never easy to talk about. After all these years it still felt very strange saying that you had a vision, even though she has had them ever since she could remember she rarely talked to people about them. She was not only a very private person but she also didn’t see the point in confiding in anyone. No one would believe her anyway.

– Robert, it happened again and it was horrible – as she finally said it she felt that she could breathe again.
- Tell me – Anita could never understand why he would want to hear those stories. Her visions were almost never good, anytime she’d see something it was almost always a terrible scenario. But she appreciated him even more because he was never judging, never asking question, he was just listening.
- There was a pregnant girl in a bus, I just looked at her belly and I was out. I saw the baby’s future, Robert, and it was bad, seriously, really bad.
- Do you want to tell me about it?
- Even thinking about it makes me sick – she paused and took a deep breath. – Everything went wrong. The little boy had, or I guess I should say will have, an asshole of a father who’ll beat him, the mom will fall into alcoholism and the dad will eventually take off leaving the poor kid and his wreck of a mother alone when the child is around eight. The mom dies soon after – Robert heard her voice shake and the story stopped for a while as she tried to put herself together. He could only imagine how hard this must be for her. – The boy will fall into drugs, booze, crime, and he’s going to die on a pile of trash outside the city when he’s seventeen.

She uttered the last sentence as fast as she could and when she finished all Robert could hear was shaky breathing and the well-known to him sound of a lighter burning the tip of her joint.
- Should I come over? – he asked, like he always did after a story like this. – I can come if you need me to.
- It’s fine – she didn’t want to bother him although she knew he would be willing to do anything to make her feel better. That’s exactly what she would do for him, too. – Thank you for listening. I’ll be fine.
- Can I ask you a question?
- Sure, what is it?
- Why do you think it’s always bad scenarios? Why do you never see the lives of happy people with happy endings?

It was something she wondered about every day and she had no answer to that question.

- I have no idea but I imagine there is someone out there, just like me, who sees the good stuff. I don’t know, I kind of feel like I might be a part of a bigger whole, you know? – She paused to take a drag. – I have to believe that there is a different purpose to all this than just to torment me.
- Do you think you will even meet that person?
- Doubt it.
- I’ll see you tomorrow, alright? – Robert said after a while.
- Sure, see you at work.
- An?
- Yeah?
- I love you.
- Love you too, Rob.

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Old 01-05-2018, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by pralina View Post
This will be a small piece of a bigger story.



A pregnant girl was sitting in a bus wishing she was already home. Her feet were swollen, her head hurt, and the baby was pressing on her bladder making her even more uncomfortable. Through the dirty bus window she was counting passing street laps which glimmered in the greyish dusk making this rainy winter afternoon a mixture of magical and sad. She heard the voice in speaker announce her stop and as she turned her eyes away from the window she was met with an intense stare of big, wide open, pale blue pair of eyes belonging to a woman sitting a few rows in front of her. The girl felt shivers down her spine, she stood up and felt the woman’s stare as she approached the door and exited quickly as soon as the bus stopped. She turned around one last time to look into the bus, into those unsettling, unblinking eyes, and as the door closed she felt almost paralyzed and managed to move only after the bus had disappeared around the corner.

When the girl got off, the pale-eyed woman, as if coming out from a trance, closed her eyes and wrinkles of pain and struggle showed up on her face. She clenched her fists and as she opened her eyes up again a few tears rolled down her cheeks.

She hated when this happened, but could never stop it, even when she felt it coming. She got off the bus and ran home. As soon as she stepped over the threshold she grabbed her phone and called the only person who would understand what she was going through.

- Hi, Anita. What’s up? – a deep, soothing male voice answered. She took a deep breath and an almost invisible smile showed up on her face.
- Hey, do you have a second?
- Sure, I actually just got home. Is everything ok? – Anita paused. The answer to this question was more complicated than just simple yes or no.
- Um… yeah, I don’t know. I mean, I guess it is. It’s just that…

The woman knew that she could talk to him about anything, but this was never easy to talk about. After all these years it still felt very strange saying that you had a vision, even though she has had them ever since she could remember she rarely talked to people about them. She was not only a very private person but she also didn’t see the point in confiding in anyone. No one would believe her anyway.

– Robert, it happened again and it was horrible – as she finally said it she felt that she could breathe again.
- Tell me – Anita could never understand why he would want to hear those stories. Her visions were almost never good, anytime she’d see something it was almost always a terrible scenario. But she appreciated him even more because he was never judging, never asking question, he was just listening.
- There was a pregnant girl in a bus, I just looked at her belly and I was out. I saw the baby’s future, Robert, and it was bad, seriously, really bad.
- Do you want to tell me about it?
- Even thinking about it makes me sick – she paused and took a deep breath. – Everything went wrong. The little boy had, or I guess I should say will have, an asshole of a father who’ll beat him, the mom will fall into alcoholism and the dad will eventually take off leaving the poor kid and his wreck of a mother alone when the child is around eight. The mom dies soon after – Robert heard her voice shake and the story stopped for a while as she tried to put herself together. He could only imagine how hard this must be for her. – The boy will fall into drugs, booze, crime, and he’s going to die on a pile of trash outside the city when he’s seventeen.

She uttered the last sentence as fast as she could and when she finished all Robert could hear was shaky breathing and the well-known to him sound of a lighter burning the tip of her joint.
- Should I come over? – he asked, like he always did after a story like this. – I can come if you need me to.
- It’s fine – she didn’t want to bother him although she knew he would be willing to do anything to make her feel better. That’s exactly what she would do for him, too. – Thank you for listening. I’ll be fine.
- Can I ask you a question?
- Sure, what is it?
- Why do you think it’s always bad scenarios? Why do you never see the lives of happy people with happy endings?

It was something she wondered about every day and she had no answer to that question.

- I have no idea but I imagine there is someone out there, just like me, who sees the good stuff. I don’t know, I kind of feel like I might be a part of a bigger whole, you know? – She paused to take a drag. – I have to believe that there is a different purpose to all this than just to torment me.
- Do you think you will even meet that person?
- Doubt it.
- I’ll see you tomorrow, alright? – Robert said after a while.
- Sure, see you at work.
- An?
- Yeah?
- I love you.
- Love you too, Rob.

No nailer.
Meaning no hook at the end.

If you open a story with this it will not have a great deal of momentum.


Just my pedestrian opinion.
Interested in BP's reaction (he is much more versed in this story thing than I).

Have you read his Bakery Babies offering?
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Old 01-05-2018, 12:40 PM
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I never thought of it as an opening for a bigger story, just a part of it, but I totally see what you mean. Thanks for your input. I have not read it, I might give it a go.
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Old 01-05-2018, 01:49 PM
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[QUOTE=pralina

I might give it a go.

[/QUOTE]

People often respond to attention to their work by responding with attention to ... this sentence construction has need of reconsideration before going further (or should that be farther) but I think you get the drift.

Keep writin'.
Please keep postin'.

Aside from all of that I did not know such a place as Alesund existed until you came along. I internet educated myself about it. Now I think I can see some of it seeping from your work.

And that is (to me) a good thing.
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Old 01-08-2018, 08:02 PM
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Is the mystery that Robert is one of those who sees the good scenarios?
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Old 01-09-2018, 05:08 AM
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This piece started well, but if you want people to keep reading then don't give too much away too soon. Also, perhaps you should mention a case where your heroine had a vision and it came true soon afterwards. It makes her worries about this new vision more plausible. A lot of people worry about various things and it doesn't take a clairvoyant to predict that a teenaged mother could have a tough time of it. A vision of a disaster that no one else had predicted, that was hard to predict even through rational deduction, might make more of an impact on readers and characters alike.

By the way, you wrote 'street laps' when presumably you mean street lamps. I've done just as bad myself but I thought I'd mention it.
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Old 01-10-2018, 04:25 PM
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Read Raymond Carver, best example of minimalism and avoidance of filtering...

Pregnant girl sitting on a bus, wishing she were home. Headache, swollen feet, baby playing bongos on her bladder...

Just an example. I suggest going through and deciding what is necessary and what is redundant.
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Old 01-12-2018, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by IanG View Post
This piece started well, but if you want people to keep reading then don't give too much away too soon. Also, perhaps you should mention a case where your heroine had a vision and it came true soon afterwards. It makes her worries about this new vision more plausible. A lot of people worry about various things and it doesn't take a clairvoyant to predict that a teenaged mother could have a tough time of it. A vision of a disaster that no one else had predicted, that was hard to predict even through rational deduction, might make more of an impact on readers and characters alike.

By the way, you wrote 'street laps' when presumably you mean street lamps. I've done just as bad myself but I thought I'd mention it.
I was going to make quite a long story with these characters where it's all explained. I have written outline and then I lost interest and I have no idea if I will ever pick that up again. Thanks anyways!
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Old 01-12-2018, 03:01 PM
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[QUOTE=pralina

I lost interest

[/QUOTE]


This happens to a lot of people.

What do you find to be the inspiration for a piece?
Something you heard?
A moral you would like espoused?
An event that makes you want to commemorate it?

I write from those starting points (as well as from simply chronicling my mundane doings).


So back to you and the question - where dat inspiration comin' from for ya?
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Old 01-12-2018, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Nick Pierce View Post
This happens to a lot of people.

What do you find to be the inspiration for a piece?
Something you heard?
A moral you would like espoused?
An event that makes you want to commemorate it?

I write from those starting points (as well as from simply chronicling my mundane doings).


So back to you and the question - where dat inspiration comin' from for ya?
I know it does, I have a ton of unfinished things, as I'm sure many of us do.

It started with a lapis lazuli pendant that I own; there was going to be a whole story with plot twists and spooky things. It was supposed to be serious and gloomy and with time it just seemed to have become pretentious and grotesque. Therefore I think there is no use forcing it - if it is something worth pursuing it will stick with me and maybe I can tackle it again when I'm ready.
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Old 01-12-2018, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by pralina View Post
I know it does, I have a ton of unfinished things, as I'm sure many of us do.

It started with a lapis lazuli pendant that I own; there was going to be a whole story with plot twists and spooky things. It was supposed to be serious and gloomy and with time it just seemed to have become pretentious and grotesque. Therefore I think there is no use forcing it - if it is something worth pursuing it will stick with me and maybe I can tackle it again when I'm ready.
Sounds grandiose.

Got anything about your weather?
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Old 01-12-2018, 06:57 PM
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hi nicky!!!! hi pralina! i like where you're headed and i like your format, what with the dialogue. no mistakes but also, no sheer escape.

i feel like u're trying to capture luxury with just the idea of the some girl with powers, and it would work if it more macabre. maybe she freaks out some more. maybe you could add a mean character to spice things up.

nice work with the pace though. nicky didn't mention that part. moves well for me.
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Old 01-13-2018, 04:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Luciaphile View Post
Is the mystery that Robert is one of those who sees the good scenarios?
I don't want to say in case I decide to continue this storyline.

Originally Posted by Nick Pierce View Post
Sounds grandiose.

Got anything about your weather?
Winter landscapes of Lublin and Paris with a few scenes in 19th century London. I have been always pulled in by the rainy darkness, gloomy night, dirty winter - that type of settings and I want to change that a bit. Hence the "Arrr!" story-embryo.
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Old 01-13-2018, 05:11 AM
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[QUOTE=chat bot

nice work with the pace though. nicky didn't mention that part. moves well for me.

[/QUOTE]

I was carried along so naturally by it I never gave that a thought.

Good catch.

Now onto something else. Are you gonna post a current pic and put that algorithm allegation to rest?


Uh, please excuse the use of your thread to address an outside matter, Pralina.

We're all family here, right?
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Old 01-13-2018, 05:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Nick Pierce View Post
I was carried along so naturally by it I never gave that a thought.

Good catch.

Now onto something else. Are you gonna post a current pic and put that algorithm allegation to rest?


Uh, please excuse the use of your thread to address an outside matter, Pralina.

We're all family here, right?
Oh, don't mind me, I want to know the truth as well!
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Old 01-13-2018, 05:16 AM
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[QUOTE=pralina


Winter landscapes of Lublin and Paris with a few scenes in 19th century London. I have been always pulled in by the rainy darkness, gloomy night, dirty winter - that type of settings and I want to change that a bit. Hence the "Arrr!" story-embryo.[/QUOTE]

Yeah, I get the change feeling.

Yet some say write what you know and grow from there.

I dunno.
I suppose as long as I keep scribblin' I have a way to keep out of serious life difficulty.

Maybe others don't have such a need.

I dunno.


Now I gotta go read up on this "Lublin" place.
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Old 01-13-2018, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Nick Pierce View Post

Uh, please excuse the use of your thread to address an outside matter, Pralina.

We're all family here, right?
By the way, my name is actually Dominika, people call me Dydka. It feels funny when I see someone call me Pralina, I feel like I’m incognito. You can choose I guess.
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Old 01-13-2018, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by pralina View Post
By the way, my name is actually Dominika, people call me Dydka. It feels funny when I see someone call me Pralina, I feel like I’m incognito. You can choose I guess.
Yeah. Okay.

Now I forever think of you as Dominika.

But I want to address you as Dom.
If I may.
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Old 01-30-2018, 09:26 AM
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Icon11 Character and Tension

A pretty effective plot, this draft takes the form of the Bear-at-the-Door which calls for action from the protagonist. Unfortunately, the protagonist a young mother-to-be can only run.

You introduce your audience to a "strange woman" as the title reiterates; this character is a pretty good judge of the moment, but we want more. Robert, not as round as the woman, but an important catalyst for sustaining the tension. The pregnant girl wants to be home, but is instead looking into the face of a stranger.

I like the way Robert carries a distance from the girl, yet has the job of keeping the tension between the girl and the woman real. His rhetorical questions about the girl works the distance. Maybe you can have Robert connect with something else in the scene so that the audience feels him as a better character.
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Old 01-30-2018, 04:41 PM
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yoyo there, nicky! no new pictures. not bragging but i look too good and i don’t wanna feel vain. maybe in a few months i’ll switch my profile avi but not the tinker pic, cause this tinkerbot here wants 1k friends and it looks so cute on my page. like, tink’s crew and she scored an hundred of em.

what’s dydka? like russian? sounds ethereal. dominika is so pretty tho. can i call you dom too?

and there. i already referred to myself in a vain way for nicky, and then i talked about how much i liked your work already so adieu.
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Old 01-31-2018, 02:09 AM
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Originally Posted by chat bot View Post
what’s dydka? like russian? sounds ethereal. dominika is so pretty tho. can i call you dom too?
I'm Polish, so you're only a bit wrong. Thanks, I like it too. And sure you can.
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