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Coffee Shop Blu(e)s

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  #1  
Old 08-20-2011, 08:28 AM
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Damn I wrote this when I first started getting into writing about a year ago. It's crazy how fast life can move and it sucks how I didn't improve as much as I imagined. Critiques are very much welcome as I am aware this is a pretty poor story.

The orange sun was obscured by the brooding grey clouds, a bitter but subdued wind blew through the streets, and hallmarks of autumn began to beginning to emerge from summer's dying breath. He stood outside Conner's Coffee, taking long drags from a cigarette and scanning the street for her familiar face.

The wind became harsher and less forgiving, until his body began shivering so øthat he could no longer smoke without unwillingly biting the thin white sticks that had been his only companion on this wait.

He decided to head into the coffee shop to get a coffee. She had told him to meet her here, and she was late. What she wanted to discuss was embedded into his forethought, but he pushed it further and further back into his mind-- it was too painful. The possibility that this could be the last time they saw each other was too excruitiating a thought to dwell on for more than a few minutes.

He and Alice had grown up as neighbours, their relationship coming from necessity. Their parents were good friends and they often came together to dine at restaurants, go to fairs, the malls, and other trappings of western life that most immigrants felt an obligation to participate in. øThey brought their kids along, more often than not, and they had always encouraged the two to become good friends, and although kids at that age often erupted into hysterics about cooties when in the presence of the opposite gender, they got along well, and their parents often joked to each other of an arranged marriage.

Over the years, their paths diverged more and more, Alice becoming a straight- A student, and he among the ranks of stoners. However, as their paths diverged, they found that there were points of convergence: in thought, and in attitude. They both had a dissatisfaction with life, albeit for different reasons. She, because of how she allowed the wishes of others-- parents, teachers, friends-- shape her decisions. He, because of how shallow he saw the world as. How out of tune people were to their fellow human.

That's what drew them to each other. They both saw in each other a quality, that they were too afraid of judgement, to express. Alice admired his ability to dissmiss the wants if other people in favor his pursuit of what was right for him. In Alice, he found an unwavering optimism that refused to retreat even in the face of life's soul-shattering bleakness.

She strided down on the street, dodging oncoming people without much of her characteristic regard. She had promised to meet him at 6:00, and she was late. Alice knew that this would be the last time they would meet, and she suspected that he knew as well. Rain poured from the heavens as she dodged murky puddles and flailing umbrellas, and after a few minutes of drudging along completely drenched in the cold rain, she arrived at her destination.

She entered the coffee shop and an overwhelming aroma of coffee beans greeted her. She looked to the booth the two of them had occupied every time they came here over the span of three years, and he sat there as zoned out and aloof as ever.

She headed over and slid into the side opposite him. He lifted his head and gave her a slight smile. She returned the smile, careful restrain and all.

"so you're leaving tomorrow, huh? He asked her.

"yeah." she answered.

"so you're gonna visit during thanksgiving, right?" he inquired.
He held onto a small hope that they could maintain their friendship, but he knew that things would change. She would meet new people, a new guy, and gradually but completely, he would become nothing more than a memory, like a øsingular leaf struggling against a torrent of wind, he didn't stand a chance. But he wasn't about to tell her this.

"I'm kinda bummed that Tiffany didn't get accepted into McGill, though," she confessed to him.

"who? The bitch who looks like her face f**ked by a pack of crayolas?" he asked, a smirk spreading across his face.

"god, you are so mean sometimes," Alice said.

"I know," he said, his words emblazoned with sarcasm.

*"so you wanna chill one more time before you head north?" he asked.

Her eyes veered away, and he knew the answer.

"sorry.." she began.

"nah, it's cool I guess."

It was then when she realized that they could never truly be happy together. They were too different and the bond that held them together was dissintgrating as they struggled to reconcile what they wanted with what reality was providing. She didn't want them to grow apart. She could see her silent pain reflected in his eyes, and for a moment she wanted to cry. For the lost innocence, for happiness arising from memories that could never be recreated, for her friends, and for him. But she held back the rising tide of emotion, keeping her composure.

Her phone rang, sparing her from the painful silence and breaking her rather bleak train of thought. She answered with a series of 'uh-huh's and 'okay's before slipping her phone back into her pocket.

"I have to go now," she said.

He remained silent.

"bye," she said, oh-so-casually, as if they were going to see each other the next day, as if they were going to come here again and mull over the more idisyncratic aspects of life, as they had done for years. As if this wasn't the last time they would be together, but it was. And with a limp wave of her
hand, she headed out of the coffee shop and back under grey skies.

He stared at the door for a while. It was bittersweet. He was happy that she was moving forward in her life, but a part of him was selfish enough to want her to stay forever.

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Old 08-20-2011, 09:02 AM
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The orange sun was obscured by the brooding grey clouds, a bitter but subdued wind blew through the streets, and hallmarks of autumn began to beginning to emerge from summer's dying breath. He stood outside Conner's Coffee, taking long drags from a cigarette and scanning the street for her familiar face.
_____________

Over the years, their paths diverged more and more, Alice becoming a straight- A student, and he among the ranks of stoners. However, as their paths diverged, they found that there were points of convergence: in thought, and in attitude. They both had a dissatisfaction with life, albeit for different reasons. She, because of how she allowed the wishes of others-- parents, teachers, friends-- shape her decisions. He, because of how shallow he saw the world as. How out of tune people were to their fellow human.

You could probably take out a describing word here. "The orange sun was obscured by the grey clouds." Too much of something can be a bad thing.
Change one of the diverged to its synonyms. It'd flow better.

That's what drew them to each other. They both saw in each other a quality, that they were too afraid of judgement, to express. Alice admired his ability to dissmiss the wants if other people in favor his pursuit of what was right for him. In Alice, he found an unwavering optimism that refused to retreat even in the face of life's soul-shattering bleakness.
________

"so you're leaving tomorrow, huh? He asked her. "So you're leaving tomorrow, huh?" He asked her.

"yeah." she answered. "Yeah," she answered.

"so you're gonna visit during thanksgiving, right?" he inquired. "You're gonna visit during Thanksgiving, right?" he inquired.
He held onto a small hope that they could maintain their friendship, but he knew that things would change. She would meet new people, a new guy, and gradually but completely, he would become nothing more than a memory, like a øsingular leaf struggling against a torrent of wind, he didn't stand a chance. But he wasn't about to tell her this.

"I'm kinda bummed that Tiffany didn't get accepted into McGill, though," she confessed to him.

"who? The bitch who looks like her face f**ked by a pack of crayolas?" he asked, a smirk spreading across his face. "Who? The bitch who looks like her face was fucked by a pack of crayolas?" he asked, a smirk spreading across his face. I don't know if you censored yourself here for the sake of it being on a forum, but if you didn't, it's a good indicator that you shouldn't write using foul language.

I had to read that sentence over and over and I still don't completely understand it. Maybe rewording it would make a little more sense.
"Alice admired his ability to ignore the wants of other people, and instead went after his own pursuits." The pink sentence had the same issue as the red.

"god, you are so mean sometimes," Alice said. "God, you are so mean sometimes," Alice said.

"I know," he said, his words emblazoned with sarcasm.

*"so you wanna chill one more time before you head north?" he asked. "Do you wanna chill one more time before you head north?" he asked.

Her eyes veered away, and he knew the answer.

"sorry.." she began. "Sorry..." she began.

"nah, it's cool I guess." "Nah. It's cool, I guess."

It was then when she realized that they could never truly be happy together. They were too different and the bond that held them together was disintegrating as they struggled to reconcile what they wanted with what reality was providing. She didn't want them to grow apart. She could see her silent pain reflected in his eyes, and for a moment she wanted to cry. For the lost innocence, for happiness arising from memories that could never be recreated, for her friends, and for him. But she held back the rising tide of emotion, keeping her composure.

Her phone rang, sparing her from the painful silence and breaking her rather bleak train of thought. She answered with a series of 'uh-huh's and 'okay's before slipping her phone back into her pocket.

"I have to go now," she said.

He remained silent.

"Bye," she said, oh-so-casually, as if they were going to see each other the next day, as if they were going to come here again and mull over the more idiosyncratic aspects of life, as they had done for years. As if this wasn't the last time they would be together, but it was. And with a limp wave of her
hand, she headed out of the coffee shop and back under grey skies.

He stared at the door for a while. It was bittersweet. He was happy that she was moving forward in her life, but a part of him was selfish enough to want her to stay forever.
I thought it was good. Though, instead of describing their surroundings, I would've liked a bit more description about the characters. I was a little bored with it at times. A lot of that comes with the genre I prefer. This is realistic fiction and I tend to lean towards fantasy.
I'm really big on the flow of pieces. There was a few areas where it didn't seem to make sense or the flow was disrupted by words used too close together. Remember, the beginning of dialogue does need to be capitalized. In some places it was, but most of it wasn't.
I enjoyed it. I wasn't wowed by it but I thought it was a decent read. Keep writing.
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  #3  
Old 08-20-2011, 09:11 AM
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Moops, you're getting there, a good try at a story. Here are a couple of observations.

You had some very cliched phrases in there. Those are the ones with frayed edges that have been used over and over. Always try to use fresh ways of saying things and creating images. Go back through and try to pick out the cliche bits.

The other biggy I noticed was point of view. You have to decide whose eyes you're looking through and stick with it. It is possible to change from one to the other if you can make the reader aware of the change, maybe with an extra line space.

Read your stuff out loud to yourself. Your ears will learn how to pick out clumsy phrasing and poor syntax.

Mostly, keep writing and writing and writing.

Good luck
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Old 08-20-2011, 09:50 AM
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Yep. thanks for the tips.

I look back on some of this stuff and I feel really stupid for using all these cliches and putting commas where they don't belong and shit. Some of this isn't even coherent lol.
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Old 08-20-2011, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by moops View Post
Damn I wrote this when I first started getting into writing about a year ago. It's crazy how fast life can move and it sucks how I didn't improve as much as I imagined. Critiques are very much welcome as I am aware this is a pretty poor story.

The orange sun was obscured by the brooding grey clouds unlike Corallyne, I like this, a bitter but subdued wind blew through the streets, and hallmarks of autumn began to beginning to emerge from summer's dying breath. He stood outside Conner's Coffee, taking long drags from a cigarette and scanning the street for her familiar face.

The wind became harsher and less forgiving, until his body began shivering so øthat he could no longer smoke without unwillingly biting the thin white sticks that had been cigarettes, his only companion on this wait.

He decided to head into the coffee shop inside to get a coffee. She had told him to meet her here, and she was late. What she wanted to discuss was embedded into his forethought eh, don't like this, but he pushed it further and further back into his mind-- it was too painful. The possibility that this could be the last time they saw each other was too excruitiating a thought to dwell on for more than a few minutes.

He and Alice had grown up as neighbours, their relationship coming from necessity. Their parents were good friends and they often came together to dine at restaurants, go to fairs, the malls, and other trappings of western life that most immigrants felt an obligation to participate in. øThey brought their kids along, more often than not, and they had always encouraged the two to become good friends, and although kids at that age often erupted into hysterics about cooties when in the presence of the opposite gender, they got along well, and their parents often joked to each other of an arranged marriage.

Over the years, their paths diverged more and more, Alice becoming a straight- A student, and he among the ranks of stoners needs a verb. However, as their paths diverged, they found that there were points of convergence: in thought, delete comma and in attitude. They both had a dissatisfaction with life, albeit for different reasons. She, because of how she allowed the wishes of others-- parents, teachers, friends-- shape her decisions. He, because of how shallow he saw the world as. How out of tune people were to their fellow human.

That's what drew them to each other. They both saw in each other a quality, that they were too afraid of judgement, to express. Could be rephrased as: Each saw in the other a quality that they refrained from expressing out of fear of judgement. Alice admired his ability to dissmiss the wants if of other people in favor his pursuit of what was right for him. In Alice, he found an unwavering optimism that refused to retreat even in the face of life's soul-shattering bleakness.

She strided strode[?] down on the street, dodging oncoming people without much of her characteristic regard for...? . She had promised to meet him at 6:00, and she was late. Alice knew that this would be the last time they would meet, and she suspected that he knew as well. Rain poured from the heavens as she dodged murky puddles and flailing umbrellas, and after a few minutes of drudging trudging along completely drenched in the cold rain, she arrived at her destination.

She entered the coffee shop and an overwhelming aroma of coffee beans greeted her. She looked to the booth the two of them had occupied every time they came here over the span of three years, and he sat there as zoned out and aloof as ever.

She headed over and slid into the side opposite him. He lifted his head and gave her a slight smile. She returned the smile, careful restraint and all.

"so you're leaving tomorrow, huh? He asked her. Corallyne did a good job fixing the dialogue; there were a lot of problems.

"yeah." she answered.

"so you're gonna visit during thanksgiving, right?" he inquired.
He held onto a small hope that they could maintain their friendship, but he knew that things would change. She would meet new people, a new guy, and gradually but completely, he would become nothing more than a memory, like a øsingular leaf struggling against a torrent of wind, he didn't stand a chance. But he wasn't about to tell her this.

"I'm kinda bummed that Tiffany didn't get accepted into McGill, though," she confessed to him.

"who? The bitch who looks like her face f**ked either say it or don't, but don't half-say it by a pack of crayolas?" he asked, a smirk spreading across his face.

"god, you are so mean sometimes," Alice said.

"I know," he said, his words emblazoned with sarcasm.

*"so you wanna chill one more time before you head north?" he asked.

Her eyes veered away, and he knew the answer.

"sorry.." she began.

"nah, it's cool I guess."

It was then when she realized that they could never truly be happy together. They were too different and the bond that held them together was dissintgrating as they struggled to reconcile what they wanted with what reality was providing. She didn't want them to grow apart. She could see her silent pain reflected in his eyes, and for a moment she wanted to cry. For the lost innocence, for happiness arising from memories that could never be recreated, for her friends, and for him. But she held back the rising tide of emotion, keeping her composure.

More subtlety could make this more powerful.

Her phone rang, sparing her from the painful silence and breaking her rather bleak train of thought. She answered with a series of 'uh-huh's and 'okay's before slipping her phone back into her pocket.

"I have to go now," she said.

He remained silent.

"bye," she said, oh-so-casually, as if they were going to see each other the next day, as if they were going to come here again and mull over the more idisyncratic aspects of life, as they had done for years. As if this wasn't the last time they would be together, but it was. And with a limp wave of her
hand, she headed out of the coffee shop and back under grey skies.

He stared at the door for a while. It was bittersweet. He was happy that she was moving forward in her life, but a part of him was selfish enough to want her to stay forever. Again, maybe there's a more subtle way to express this.
Not bad, a nice quiet piece. It could benefit from more action/dialogue and less explanation.
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Old 08-20-2011, 01:12 PM
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Hey Moops, love the name.

I noticed in this story and your short moral story - which I also enjoyed - is that you don't always use capitals? Did you do this on purpose? If so, ignore the sugguestions below.

Originally Posted by moops View Post


"So you're leaving tomorrow, huh? He asked her.

"Yeah," she answered.

"So you're gonna visit during thanksgiving, right?" he inquired.



"Who? The bitch who looks like her face f**ked by a pack of crayolas?" he asked, a smirk spreading across his face.

"God, you are so mean sometimes," Alice said.


*"So you wanna chill one more time before you head north?" he asked.


"Sorry.." she began.

"Nah, it's cool I guess."

"Bye," she said, oh-so-casually, as if they were going to see each other the next day, as if they were going to come here again and mull over the more idisyncratic aspects of life, as they had done for years.
I think everything else has been pointed out already.

Hope it helps, and good work

Loz x
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Old 08-21-2011, 03:14 PM
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Hi moops! Rough as it is with grammar and storyline and all that, I like your style. I was most impressed with the first paragraph. Liked your imagery, liked the romance of a man waiting on the cold street for "her familiar face". I could see it unfold.

If this was from a year ago when you first starting writing, I'd love to see where your writing has gone and read something more cuurent. Thanks for sharing.
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