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"Daddy" Flash fiction

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Old 07-30-2016, 11:24 PM
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Default "Daddy" Flash fiction


Two years... His legs still trembled and his hand still shook. But he had to keep going. He touched his aching forehead. Blood. Routine but still painful. Tears glittered in Phill's eyes. One...Two...three. He dragged his feet. In the hustle and bustle, Phill was not a seller, nor a buyer. He wasn't someone belonging to that world. Cars, bikes, blinking signboards, big shops, expensive things, money filled swollen wallets and...
Wallet? He stopped at the sight of a man pulling out the wallet from his pocket. From the corners of his eyes, Phill glimpsed the black figure peeking from behind the sidewall of a shop, gulped and reached out at the wallet. The man turned. Phill's heart stopped. No! Police, jail, execution...

"Son, you want something?" Phill heard his soft, tender voice.

Thunderstruck...

Son?

Phill got a lump in his throat. He wanted to hug him, to scream, to cry in his arm. But just a mumble came out of his lips, "Pp..Please hel...p..."
A voice touched his ears.

Daddy, Daddy, that red car..."

Dazed, Phill saw a little boy pulling the man's white shirt's sleeve. That man smiled, embraced and kissed the little boy. "Everything for my son."
"Yay." The boy ran towards the toy shop, jumping and laughing. Phill watched the man leaving.

That fake, hypocrite world.

A warm tear drop slipped over his cheek that he wiped away.

A tight grip on his arm, a tug. He was dragged from the lightened area to a silent, dark street. With a flash, Phill fell down. Pain, burning and numbness. His eyes watered. With his hand to his cheek, Phill looked at the person in black whose eyes narrowed and his thick eyebrows slanted downward.
"You fool! You didn't learn anything yet." His face in dim moonlight seemed more terrifying than usual.
"I'm sorr..."
"Sorry you say? would your sorry bring me the money?" He roared.
Phill drooped his head.
"Lazy, sluggish boy. Go back to work." He kicked Phill away." I didn't give so much money to your addicted father just to get a useless thing like you."
----------------------------------

Hi everyone ☺ Thanks for taking time to read. I'm trying to learn flash fiction and I tried writing this story in order to know how much I've learned. I haven't edited it too much so there will be a lot of mistakes. I just want your opinion about it.
Thanks again ☺


Last edited by Beginner writer; 08-04-2016 at 08:22 PM..
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Old 07-31-2016, 07:10 AM
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you didn't quite make it with this piece, to many blanks to be filled in even for my imagination.

but you're getting better, keep writing

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Old 07-31-2016, 06:51 PM
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Ok, I'm going to hi light places where I think stronger word choice can be made. Think what other word you can use to do any or as much as the following as you can:
show character's mood
Show the status of the character
Show what person the character is indirectly
How a character perceive atoner. Example, a six year-old boy might think a man who can lift a table strong, but in the eyes of another man, who has the same strength as the first, lifting a table will be nothing extraordenary


Two years... His legs still trembled and his hand still shook. But he had to keep going. He touched his aching forehead. Blood. Routine but still painful. Tears glittered in Phill's eyes. One...Two...three. He dragged his feet. In the hustle and bustle, Phill was not a seller, nor a buyer. He wasn't someone belonging to that world. Cars, bikes, blinking signboards, big shops, expensive things, money filled swollen wallets and...
Wallet? He stopped at the sight of a man pulling out the wallet from his pocket. From the corners of his eyes, Phill looked at the black figure peering from the sidewall of a shop, gulped and reached out at the wallet. The man turned. Phill's heart stopped. No! Police, jail, execution...

"Son, you want something?" The man said.
Phill was breathless.

Son?

Phill got a lump in his throat. He wanted to hug him, to scream, to cry in his arm. But just a whisper came out of his lips, "Pp..Please hel...p..."
A voice touched his ears.

Daddy, Daddy, that red car..."

Phill stood, stunned.

A little boy pulling the man's white shirt's sleeve. He smiled, embraced and kissed the little boy. "Everything for my son."
"Yay." The boy ran towards the toy shop, jumping and laughing. Phill watched the man leaving.

That fake, hypocrite world.

A warm tear drop slipped over his cheek that he wiped away.

A tight grip, a harsh pull on his arm. He was dragged from the noisy, lightened area to a silent, dark street. With a flash, Phill fell down. Pain, burning and numbness. His eyes watered. With his hand to his cheek, Phill looked at the person in black whose eyes narrowed and his thick eyebrows slanted downward.
"You fool! You didn't learn anything yet." His face in dim moonlight seemed more terrifying than usual.
"I'm sorr..."
"Sorry you say? would your sorry bring me the money?" He roared.
Phill hung his head.
"Lazy, sluggish boy. Go back to work." He kicked Phill away." I didn't give so much money to your addicted father just to get a useless thing like you."

I am pushing you in some places. Try to design the adjectives with owns/ For example "a firm grip" can be made stronger by saying "a talon grip". The talon is a known and it is touchable. The reader can imagine what being gripped by a talon feels like. The result is you turn something abstract like "firm" which can be viewed differently by different people into something much narrower and you let the reader be part more of the story world. Good luck with the word choice Any questions, don't hesitate to ask as usual.
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  #4  
Old 08-04-2016, 09:16 PM
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Max thank you so much for your kind comment and encouragement ☺ I'll try to improve more. Can you please give me some hints as which details are missing in the story?

Elisa, that's a really exciting exercise☺ I've tried and changed some of the words you pointed out. What do you think about it?
I'm having a little problem about the sentences you pointed out :
" He dragged his feet. " and " A voice touched his ears. "
How to make them more powerful? The first one express character's mood. He's not willing to do what he is doing. Should I use another action to explain this? Or another word for dragging feet?
About the second sentence, should I explain how the voice felt to his ears? But first he will hear the voice and that time he'll not be aware of who was talking. So I showed his reaction after the voice heard. What do you think ?

Your idea about creating the adjectives is great. But I think it'll take a little practice for me to be able to do so. How should I practice this? Like if you post some sentences or sentences from the story and give some designed adjectives as options asking which fits better in the sentence?or any other method?
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Old 08-05-2016, 05:49 AM
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Well, first I will answer the questions in your last post.

For "He dragged his feet"

You can describe how he drag his feet, what it feels like as he walk. For example:

His feet refused to move; the pavement of the street seemed to have turned into putty, gluing his foot to the ground, so every step was an effort.

Something like that. You let the reader to feel the type of drag he experienced.

As for the second sentence "a voice touched his ear"

This is actually not bad, but again, you could describe how the sound reached him. For example, is it a gentle touch, or a sudden slam? A way to rewrite is something along these lines:

A voice, as if coming through a fence fog, tickled his ears.

You get the suggestion of a barrier the sound had to go through in order to reach his ears with "fog" and "tickled" suggests that it was the slightest contact possible.

You would be glad to know that those two sentences above that you found hard, were supposed to be hard haha


And now for the rest of the changes.

"glimpsed" in place of "look" is good.

Why "Thunder struck"? It contradicts with the day being a sunken as suggested. If for mood, it is slightly too dramatic. Subtlety is the best way, at least in my view, of creating mood. Do it so that you have the effect, but don't make your method stand out too much or the reader might get side tracked. Something like "his hands was damp with sweat" is better at conveying someone being nervous than something like "his heart seemed like it would leave his chest".

Can you use something dramatic? Yes, but make sure you only use it when it really counts and not too frequent so that it can hit the reader.

The "strong" grip can be strengthened as mentioned before.

Good getting rid of "terrifying". The description of the man should show the reader he is terrifying through action etc and you shouldn't have to say that directly.

In the end, "hung" his head is good, but could there be a better word to show shame and fear?

Good start though! Practice will give you instinct eventually. Be patient. A quick way, well relatively anyway, is to read as many english books as you can if possible. If you have time haha.
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  #6  
Old 08-06-2016, 11:20 PM
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Hi there! So I did some thinking about how to teach word choice. Your idea is good, but before we do that, I will go one step back. Making good word choice is all about understanding what the word is and how the reader would be affected by the word. Call it, playing with your reader's emotions haha. But honestly, that's the heart of good writing along with clarity and knowing the words you use will make what you write clearer and hit the reader with maximum force.

So let's start. Remember, you don't need to finish the two tasks in one sitting. Take your time, think about it. We're don't need to hurry. I hope I didn't make the tasks too boring. Tell me if you think they are boring
************
Task 1

In English, and I'm suppose also in your own language, a word have two meanings. One, the denotation, refers to the literal meaning of a word and is what is written in the dictionary. They second, the connotation, is what is suggested by the word according to cultural context.

Here is an example:

Mouse

Denotation - a small rodent that typically has a pointed snout, relatively large ears and eyes, and a long tail.

Connotation - someone who is easily frightened or is very timid. It can also refer to a certain type of brown of a person's hair as in mouse brown hair. Or even a person who is physically small and unassuming.

You will see that a word can have many connotations and each connotation brings to mind a different image and feeling depending on how and when it's used.
*****************
Your turn.

I will give you several words below. I want you to give me both the denotation (by all means, use a dictionary) and the connotation (for this I want you to think for yourself first and only find help when you cannot think of anything) for each of the words. For denotation, yo can give me the first definition, which would be the most frequently used and for connotation, give me at the minimum three and if you can, as many as you can think of.

Here are the words:

Chicken

Knife

Wolf

Cleave

wisp

Smoke

Talon

night
******************
Task 2:

There are many words in English that have similar meanings but are associated with either something positive or negative. It is all related to the connotation of the word.

Here is an example:

Lean and bulky

Both words refer to the person having a good amount of muscle. However, "lean" is seen as positive and "bulky" as less positive. Why? Because when a person refer to another as "lean" we associate it with the type of body lake a greyhound's or a sailor's. The image evoked by this word is someone who is live and agile in motion while also very strong. On the other hand, when we say a person is "bulky", they may have the same amount of muscles as the first, but somehow they look more clumsy and awkward because perhaps the distribution of muscle is unbalanced. To make my very bad explanation more clear, imagine the build of a long distance runner (lean) and then a very heavy weight lifter (bulky). The contrast is evident.

Your task. Provided my very bad explanation above actually makes some kind of sense

Below are several sets of words and I want you to rearrange them from most negative to most positive. Remember, it all has to do with connotation more than the denotation. If you need to, take each word and apply the first task. It will get easier very quickly and in time distinguishing between the connotations of words will become so automatic that you won't even have to really think about it anymore.

Here are the words:

Set 1 - Thin, slim, lanky, skinny, gaunt, slender

Set 2 - Aggressive, assertive, domineering, dynamic, pushy, forceful

Set 3 - Shrewd, egghead, bright, clever, brilliant, cunning, smart, intelligent, brainy
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  #7  
Old 08-07-2016, 11:27 PM
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Here's my try for the first task ☺ I took their definitions from dictionary and think of what they can represent.

Wolf:
A wild carnivorous mammal of the dog family, living and hunting in packs.

A carnivorous. Give the feeling of fear. So, can represents a terrifying person who can be harmful.
A hypocrite person as the proverb says, "Wolf in sheep's clothing."
Person controlling or torturing the weak.

Knife:
A utensil or a tool designed for cutting, consisting of a flat piece of hard material, usually steel or other metal (the blade), usually sharpened on one edge, attached to a handle. The blade may be pointed for piercing.

Being used for cutting something, it can be something harmful.
Being sharp, can represents someone foul mouthed hurting other's feelings by his sharp tongue.

Night:
The period between sunset and sunrise, when a location faces far away from the sun, thus when the sky is dark.

A period between sunset and sunrise, can represents a transitional state. A change in fortune leading from bad to good. A change occurring in someone's way of thinking from negative to positive. A state or period that'll change someone's miserable life to a happy one.
Being silent, can represents the state of calmness.
Also it silence can also be felt as terrifying, lonely or sad.
Being dark, a bad fortune, miserable life, sadness, something hidden or secret.

Smoke:
The visible vapor/vapour, gases, and fine particles given off by burning material.

Give off by burning material,* so can be someone's reaction who is badly hurt.
Burning can be enthusiasm and smoke is its result visible.
Also as it's unclear or cloudy, so can be an unclear information.

Talon:
A sharp, hooked claw of a bird of prey or other predatory animal.

Sharp, claw, used for hunting, someone's power to hurt the weak.
Hooked, can represents forceful, torturing efforts to stop someone doing something on his own will.
Cruelty.
A firm grip, a full control on other's life.
A sign of fear or danger.

Cleave:
To split or sever something with, or as if with, a sharp instrument.

Act of splitting something, act of causing hatred, quarrel or fight between two loved ones or between best friends, countries etc.
Cutting all the relations from the loved ones.
Breaking someone's heart.

Chicken :
A domestic fowl kept for its eggs or meat, especially a young one.

Something beneficial.
Someone to take advantage from.
Being frightened easily, can represents a coward person.

Wisp:
a thin, light, delicate, or fibrous piece or strand, such as a streak of smoke or a lock of*hair.

This one is a little harder. I don't know what it can represents. I found the phrase, " wisp of hope." I think a very small chance of something good but someone's still hopeful.
So, a very little hope, time.
A hard decision to be taken in less time to avoid something bad from happening.

What do you think? Did I do the task correctly?
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Old 08-08-2016, 12:47 AM
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Very good, especially since I suspect you never done anything like that before. Have you?

As you go down the list, you get better. I was most impressed with your work with the word "night" because you considered both the positive and negative possibilities.

For "Wolf" not bad, although you focused mostly on the western connotations. However, a good writer must also be aware of interpretations from different cultures. For example, in the Roman myths, the founder of the cities were versed by a wolf. From this, you can view the wolf as a protector, a mother. In Native American tribes who make a living through hunting and also for for Inuit (Eskimos) and tribes in Mongolia, the wolf is seen as a guide, of wisdom, as an animal that keeps nature healthy. So, depending on how a people live, for example if they keep sheep to survive, or if they hunt to survive, the meaning of any animal or thing will be influenced. Also, when using an animal for comparisons, don't forget the actual behaviour of the animal. Wolves live in packs and will defend their own. What does this tell you? It tells you that rates such as loyalty, family, discipline, harmony, group work can be suggested by the mention of the word.

For "knife" this is not bad, but because i'm being picky, I will say that you missed how the town can be used as a verb. For example, the boat knifed through the water. What image that that suggest to you. Again, consider the qualities of the object. A knife is usually metal or stone; so what does it feels like when you touch it? The word brings to mind the idea of coldness. This one you did pretty well. You can also think of what it is used for; for example, sacrifice.

"Smoke" good, yo got the connotations that writers usually use the word for. I will just add that it can also be used to suggest a screening of something, as in when you have smoke in your eyes you cannot see clearly. You said something similar i know, but this is slightly different. This is more like you are hiding from the world. The other possible connotation is anger; have yo come across the phrase smoking from anger? Again, this derives from the idea of heat. Some there less obvious uses is to say someone smoke to give an image of control as it gives an image of the person being relaxed. This i didn't expect you to think of, usually you pick this up by reading a lot or looking at Winston Churchill. He, which you have kind of touched on, use smoking to hide what he is thinking so that his actions or what he plans to do will be less obvious to those he didn't want to know. This is more observation and how to portray a character though, but see the suggestion is there or it wouldn't work.

"Talon" and "cleave" are well done. Although you might find it interesting to know that "cleave" also means to stick together. It's one of those words that could mean opposite things depending how you use it.

"Chicken" good. Could also suggest a person who doesn't really know their mind from how they often wonder around without any apparent goal.

"Wisp" you got the most often used connotations. You can also say a wisp of a person, meaning the person has little personality of their own, maybe very submissive. Or, of a physically tiny person. Or, this is also often used, a wisp describing a person who is dying and is very got.

Over all, like i said in the beginning, quite good. You do tend to draw your conclusions from the actual definition's wording, which is a good start. The next step is to consider the actual characteristics of the thing or animal. What can be suggested by their behaviour, their material, can they be turned into a verb like you can with "knife"? What are the positive and negative aspects of the word? Hint, connotations usually come form touchable nouns. And finally, how is this noun seen by different cultures and peoples? The only way to access this last pain is by watching documentaries, interacting with different cultures and or by reading about them. It's actually fun and yo get to learn about lots of things, especially since you seem to enjoy learning. Do this: pick a random topic, in fact the least you know about it, the better, then just explore it. You don't need to be an expert on it, but a good writer should have access to as many topics as possible. You never know when you need to know about biology or physics, or philosophy to liven up what you're writing .

And now i wish you luck and fun for the second task.
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Old 08-12-2016, 01:40 AM
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Hi Elisa 😊 Thank you so much for encouragement 😊 Yes, this was first time I tried with connotations ☺ I'm glad you liked it. Thanks for the guidance too 😊 I'll try the task keeping the other points in mind too.

My try with Task 2 😊

Set 1:

Sequence from negative to positive :

Gaunt, Lanky, skinny, thin, slim, slender.

All of the words show different conditions of being thin.
Gaunt: the most negative one as it's the thinness because of some suffering, like hunger, disease or old age. So, definitely not a sign of beauty.
Lanky: also represents thin but gives the person ugly appearance.
Skinny: very thin, not ugly but neither good looking.
Thin: a general word showing the state of body.
Slim: not overweight.
Slender: thin but beautifully. Good looking.

Set 2:
From negative to positive :

Pushy, aggressive, domineering, forceful, assertive, dynamic.

Pushy: Aggressively ambitious; overly assertive, bold or determined.
Aggressive: ready or likely to attack or confront.
Domineering : assert one's will over another in an arrogant way.
Forceful : With assertive force; powerful.
Assertive : boldly self-assured; confident without being aggressive.
Dynamic : energetic, powerful.

Set 3:
From negative to positive.

Cunning, Shrewd, clever, bright, intelligent, egghead, brainy, brilliant, smart.

Cunning, intelligent but use it in negative aspect like deceiving others, so most negative.
Shrewd: having sharp power of judgment, connotation is mostly used as negative. A smart person using its intelligence in bad deeds.
Clever: quick to understand, learn, and devise or apply ideas. Not referring to good or bad use of intelligence, but the quality; quick mentally and practically.
Bright: Having a clear, quick intellect; intelligent.
Intelligent : Having ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills. General term.
Egghead: a person who is highly academic or studious; an intellectual.
Brainy : Very intellectually capable.
Brilliant : exceptionally intelligent and skilled. Rely on their skills.
Smart: showing quick-witted intelligence. Quality; quick to think and can see and plan for forthcoming events.
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Old 08-12-2016, 04:51 AM
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Set 1 is all correct.

Set 2 just a change:
Pushy, domineering, aggressive, forceful, assertive, dynamic.

I see why you put aggressive as second, and actually "aggressive" and 'domineering" are almost on the same level, but as i understand it, "domineering" is slightly more negative because of the mood in people it crates. Insignia a person who is domineering, meaning you must do what they say or you get into trouble verses someone who is aggressive. The person may be aggressive but you don't have to do what they say to the letter, so to speak, although they might seek to hurt you if you ignore them.

Set 3:
This is hard mostly because perspective of different people may be different, but considering as many aspect of the words as possible, this is my take.

Cunning, bright, egghead, clever, smart, brainy, intelligent shrewd, brilliant

Cunning - yo pare correct
Bright- this is sometimes a very good compliment but it also could be used as a nice way to say some one is ok, but not the best, so depends on context.
Egghead - you are right that this means as a very academic person, but like the previous word it can be used as an insult, for example for someone who is only good academically but not in other areas of life.
Clever and smart is about the same level, they are like "thin" in the first set.
Brainy - similar to egghead but less of an insult.
intelligent - pretty good connotations. Means a person can deal with different situates well, can think around problems.
Shrewd - this surprisingly, means good judgement and is generally good, although if over done can turn into a negative thing as you said.
Brilliant - well self explanatory.

These are my opinion and may be different to others, so don't take it as absolute. There is no wrong answer for those that sit in the middle range. All I wanted with this task is to get you to really look at a word and consider its affect on the reader when you use it in your story. I don't know about you, but I know I seldom take time to really think about how a word can affect a reader until I got into poetry and every word counts tremendously. But that's another story
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