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Yesterday.

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Old 02-06-2011, 08:02 PM
pabs (Offline)
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Default Yesterday.


Very quick, and seems a little silly. I'm just getting back into writing, so it's a start. Sort of humorous?

Yesterday

When he awoke in the morning, he knew the day was his. Like an eager school boy, he threw himself into the shower, chanting some noteworthy song that his half-awake mind could only sort of recall from the previous day. But there should be no more talk about that previous day. No, there was simply no use in dwelling on things that remain in the past, particularly when the future looked so bright. He scrubbed away at his skin with a washcloth, focused entirely on not thinking about the past day. He soon found it to be an unwise plan, as his mind tended to drift back to that which he it was consciously avoiding. Sighing heavily, he turned the heat up, letting his yips of pain drive nearly every logical thought from his head.

The curtains squeaked aside with a bit of a fight, revealing the full mirror that lay sprawled across the wall opposite. For a moment, he stared at his hunched, lumpy form, but before long, a smile engulfed his face and he found himself standing rigid and tall. He looked good. Grabbing the closest object that looked vaguely like a towel, he clothed himself hastily and moved on into the kitchen.

“Good morning,” he said idly to the flickering television set in the corner of the small kitchen.

The faceless newscaster had little interest in exchanging pleasantries with one of his less-important, less-endowed viewers, and simply went on rambling about how many people had died the previous night in the city.

There was that damn night again.

The cacophony of beautiful crackles brushed the night away once more as a tide of Cheerios slide peacefully into his bowl. He slid over to the refrigerator, those delicious, grainy O’s still dominating his mind.

No OJ.

“Where the fuck is the OJ?” he asked the television.

“The store’s owner said the man entered without his gun raised, but never showed any intention to shoot,” the newscaster droned.

There was probably orange juice at that store. He glanced up at the ceiling, daydreams of petty crime overtaking him. The phone exploded with sound, sending him jumping, his head knocking a loose pot. Cursing under his breath, he picked up the device.

“Hello?” he said.

“It’s Angela,” a high-pitched, annoyed voice chirped over the line. “We need to talk about yesterday.”

“ Angela, did you drink all of my OJ?” he asked calmly.

“Are you listening to me Mark? Yesterday…”

“My OJ, Angela. Where is it?”

“Yeah I drank your fucking OJ,” she spat, “so sue me.”

“I think I will. That was quality OJ,” he said, without a trace of humor. “What am I supposed to put in my cereal?”

For a moment, all was silent.

“Mark. We need to talk about yesterday.”

Why was yesterday so persistent? It was today, but everyone was so worried about yesterday.

“I don’t want to,” he said meekly.

“Mark, get out of the house. Come over, and we can talk,” Angela said.

“Tomorrow,” he said flatly.

“What?”

“Tomorrow.” And with a click, he hung up the phone. Tomorrow.

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Old 02-07-2011, 12:58 AM
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I liked it, but the question still remains, 'what happened yesterday?'. All I learned was he doesn't want to think about it, the future was bright and Angela knew about yesterday and wanted to talk.

If this is the start of a story, then okay, but if that's it...then there's no story there.

The phone conversation needs work. One second he's looking in the fridge, realising there's no OJ, then jumping and answering the phone, and then...nothing. Does he return to the fridge while on the phone, or do something else?

Originally Posted by pabs View Post
He soon found it to be an unwise plan, as his mind tended to drift back to that which he it was consciously avoiding.
Either word would work, but I think 'he' should be left in and 'it' removed.

Originally Posted by pabs View Post
The cacophony of beautiful crackles brushed the night away once more as a tide of Cheerios slide peacefully into his bowl. He slid glided over to the refrigerator, those delicious, grainy O’s still dominating his mind.
Slid not slide here as written in past tense. Use another word other than slid here, you don't want to repeat a word used in the sentence before. I've chosen glided.

Hope this helps.
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  #3  
Old 02-07-2011, 01:06 AM
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I'm guessing the guy robbed the store?

I didn't find this funny. Not sure where the funny bits are supposed to be, to be honest. But I did enjoy it.

The speech tags could be toned down. Too much explaining of how the characters said things; let the context and content do that, and save the explanatory tags for when they're needed.
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Old 02-07-2011, 12:59 PM
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Hi Pabs,

As with Kas81 I'm working on the basis that this is the opening scene of a longer story and as such I like it so far. I like being kept wondering about what happened yesterday. I would perhaps expand it a little so that you could work in a few little teasers about what may have happened. A few overheard details from the news broadcast which may or may not be connected. And maybe Angela could drop a few details (not too much) into the conversation. Perhaps when he wakes up there could be something beside the bed to get you thinking "What's the relevance of that?"

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Originally Posted by pabs View Post

Yesterday

When he awoke in the morning, he Mark knew the day was his.
I think it's better that he has a name from the start, Angela refers to him by name and if this is the first time we hear his name my first thought is 'oh that's his name' rather than 'What does Angela want with Mark?'.

He scrubbed away at his skin with a washcloth, focused entirely on not thinking about the past day. He soon found it to be an unwise plan futile exercise, as his mind tended to kept drifting back to that which he it was consciously avoiding the day before today. Sighing heavily, he turned the heat up, letting his yips of pain drive nearly every logical thought from his head.
Referring to it as the day before today, I feel, helps emphasize the fact that he is consciously avoiding yesterday.
Grabbing the closest object that looked vaguely like a towel, he clothed himself hastily and moved on intoheaded for the kitchen.


The faceless newscaster had little interest in exchanging pleasantries with one of his less-important, less-endowed viewers, and simply went on continued rambling on about how many people had died the previous night in the city.
Nothing wrong in what you have here, I just think this reads a bit better.

There was that damn night again.There it was again, Mark thought, that damn night
Again, I just feel written this way, it helps you get inside his mind rather than just being told something

The cacophony of beautiful crackles brushed the night away once more as a tide of Cheerios slide peacefully danced carelessly into his bowl. He slid over to the refrigerator, those delicious, grainy O’s still dominating his mind. No OJ.
Sliding peacefully makes me think of falling asleep. I think danced carelessly better reflects the mod he was in when awoke.

“Where the fuck is the OJ?” he asked the television the faceless one.
Technically of course he was talking to the TV but usually when you talk to the TV, really you're talking to the person in the TV

“The store’s owner said the man entered without his gun raised, but and never showed any intention to shoot,” the newscaster droned.

There was probably orange juice at that store. He glanced up at the pots that hung on the rack above him, daydreams of petty crime overtaking him. The phone exploded with sound, sending him jumping, his head knocking a loose pot. Cursing under his breath, he picked up the device.
When I read this at first, when he hit his head I found myself reading back to see if I'd missed some reference to the pots. Mentioning them earlier gives a better picture of the layout of the kitchen and when you're told he jumps you almost know he's going to hit is head before your told.


For a moment, all was silent. Silence.
More dramatic, I feel.

“Mark. We need to talk about yesterday.”

Why was yesterday so persistent? It was today, but everyone was so worried about yesterday? This was a new day. This was today.

“I don’t want to,” he said meekly patiently.
Just personal preference really. I do actually like the sentence about yesterday being so persistent, it personifies it, like the day itself was actually trying to get to him. Meek doesn't seem right here, seems to submissive.

“Mark, get out of the house. Come over, and we can talk,” Angela said.

“Tomorrow,” he said flatly.

“What?”


“Tomorrow.” And with a click, he hung up the phone. Tomorrow.
Simply ending abruptly with just 'tomorrow' leaves a bigger sense of anticipation - assuming this is the end of the scene/chapter.


I hope you find some of this useful, I'm far from an expert myself so this comes from no position of authority.
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Last edited by Justified; 02-08-2011 at 11:23 AM..
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Old 02-08-2011, 04:47 AM
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Originally Posted by pabs View Post
When he awoke in the morning, he knew the day was his. Like an eager school boy, he threw himself into the shower, chanting some noteworthy song that his half-awake mind could only sort of recall from the previous day [I understand you're trying to get "previous day" in here so you can use that next sentence, but this seems an awkward way of doing it. The sentence runs on a bit. Try to trim it down]. But there should be no more talk about that previous day. No, there was simply no use in dwelling on things that remain in the past ['remain' implies a longer period of time...why not just say 'dwelling on the past'?], particularly when the future looked so bright. He scrubbed away at his skin with a washcloth, focused entirely on not thinking about the past day. He soon found it to be an unwise plan,as; his mind tended to ['tended to', again, implies a recurring pattern. I don't think that's the case here] drift back to that which he it was consciously avoiding. Sighing heavily, he turned the heat up, letting his yips of pain drive nearly every logical thought from his head. [I thought he was feeling especially optimistic? This sentence contrasts the mood a little.]

The curtains squeaked aside with a bit of a fight [Great imagery], revealing the full ['full' doesn't tell us anything; we don't know if you mean big, wide, or what. I would just lose the adjective] mirror that lay sprawled across the wall opposite. For a moment, he stared at his hunched, lumpy form, but before long, a smile engulfed his face and he found himself standing rigid and tall. He looked good. Grabbing the closest object that looked vaguely like a towel [too wordy for too simple a thing], he clothed himself hastily and moved on into the kitchen.

“Good morning,” he said idly [Why is he idle? He should be excited!] to the flickering television set in the corner of the small kitchen.

The faceless [Why is he faceless?] newscaster had little interest in exchanging pleasantries with one of his less-important, less-endowed viewers, and simply went on rambling about how many people had died the previous night in the city.

There was that damn night again.

The cacophony of beautiful crackles brushed the night away once more as a tide of Cheerios slide peacefully ['cacaphony' and 'peacefully' create conflicting images] into his bowl. He slid over to the refrigerator, those delicious, grainy O’s still dominating his mind.

No OJ.

“Where the fuck is the OJ?” he asked the television.

“The store’s owner said the man entered without his gun raised, but ['but'? Never showing an intention to shoot doesn't contradict a lowered gun'] never showed any intention to shoot,” the newscaster droned.

There was probably orange juice at that store. He glanced up at the ceiling, daydreams of petty crime overtaking him. The phone exploded with sound, sending him jumping [did he jump more than once?], his head knocking a loose pot. Cursing under his breath, he picked up the device.

“Hello?” he said.

“It’s Angela,” a high-pitched, annoyed voice chirped ['chirp' is a cheerful noise] over the line. “We need to talk about yesterday.”

“Angela, did you drink all of my OJ?” he asked calmly [I already had the impression of his voice, but maybe that's just me].

“Are you listening to me Mark? Yesterday…”

“My OJ, Angela. Where is it?” [I don't see him calling her by name twice in a row. I would pick just one]

“Yeah I drank your fucking OJ,” she spat, “so sue me.”

“I think I will. That was quality OJ,” he said, without a trace of humor. “What am I supposed to put in my cereal?”

For a moment, all was silent.

“Mark. We need to talk about yesterday.”

Why was yesterday so persistent? It was today, but everyone was so worried about yesterday.

“I don’t want to,” he said meekly [I think his tone is more apparent without this, actually].

“Mark, get out of the house. Come over, and we can talk,” Angela said.

“Tomorrow,” he said flatly.

“What?”

“Tomorrow.” And with a click, he hung up the phone. Tomorrow.
I sort of liked this; the tone and style is urgent even during the most tranquil situations, and that urgency is what kept me reading. However, conflicting images in a places made me enjoy this piece less than I normally would have.

My main advice to you is watch your word choice. Keep in mind the picture you want to create and stick to it. If you can do that with this story, I would instantly like it 50% more.

You were also a little wordy in places. Try to only describe significant things, and as I said, describe them in a consistent way. It's not a big problem in this piece, but I thought it worth mentioning.

Overall, not bad. Seems promising.

- Eclipse
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Old 02-08-2011, 11:19 AM
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I will say that I liked it, especially the part where he obsessed over the missing OJ; its the little things that make readers chuckle (or at least me). I liked where the story was going, but I do agree that there has to be more for this to be an actual story.

Awaiting the next piece.
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Old 02-09-2011, 01:30 PM
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I just did a quick read of this, didn't like the style so much at first but it grew on me by the end. I think others covered the nitty gritty well enough, so I won't go into that. Definitely potential here. For some reason I really liked that he put OJ in his cereal.
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