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Waiting for a respone - A Short Story

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    I wrote this short story yesterday and if people could give me some feedback on it, it would be really appreciated.

    Thanks.

    -

    Check phone. Still nothing.

    It’s quite hard to describe without drifting into the region of cliché’s so I’ll get them all over the way now: Her eyes reflect the sun in such a way that I think they’re lined with silver, when her skin gets near mine it feels like electricity jumps from her flesh to mine, when I’m alone with her it feels both eternal and brief.

    There we go.

    Check phone. Nothing.

    The first time we met was uneventful I would of been around fourteen and her fourteen too. We probably walked in opposite directions and did not notice each other one bit. Don’t check. At that age girls weren’t something I spent much time thinking about. Don’t. Of course that is meant to be the explosive age where everything is fresh don’t check your phone Mark and it all feels new, it new to be more precise, but I don’t know it never really occurred to me that to have a relationship you had to talk to girls.

    Don’t check, don’t check.

    Check Phone. Nothing.

    The first time we spoke was on the penultimate day before we left for exams.

    ‘Emily?’

    ‘Yeah?’

    ‘Is anyone sitting here?’

    ‘No.’

    The first time we had a conversation was the day after that.

    ‘This is ridiculous.’ She muttered.

    ‘What is it?’

    Check phone. Nothing.

    ’Oh it’s nothing.’

    ‘No come on it’s fine. What is it?’

    ‘It’s just I’m so stressed, I’ve got these ****ing exams in a couple of weeks and I’ve done so much work and I’m still getting **** results on every paper.’

    ‘What’s that? A B? That’s not terrible.’

    ‘Please don’t try and cheer me up.’

    ‘You’ve still got plenty of time.’

    ‘No I don’t. I’m going to fail, I’m going to amount to nothing and do some ****ty job, for ****ty money, and have a ****ty life and-‘

    ‘Do you want me to help you out?’

    ’No. No, no, I couldn’t do that. You’ve got your own exams.’

    That was the moment I fell in love with her.

    ‘No it’s fine.’

    ‘Oh thank you, thank you so much.’

    My teas cold, and there’s still nothing on my phone.

    The last message I received from her was ‘I wish all guys were like you.’ My heart fluttered when I got that. Sorry, that should be in the cliché section up at the top. I mean, she wish’s all guy’s were like me, that means I’m the best man in the world in her eyes. Doesn’t it? What more of evidence could she provide, but when I send her back ‘Do you want to go the cinema tonight?’ She’s unable to close the deal. It’s not like she’s got any revision left to do, or should I say tutoring sessions with me to go through.

    We got our results last thursday, she got into Uni, she was very happy with it. She went out that night, I got woken up at 00.42 with a text saying ‘Thank you so much, I love you.’ The next morning I got a text saying ‘We were so drunk last night, lets ignore those texts.’

    ‘Yeah, I can’t believe we said we loved each other’ I sent back.

    I don’t know how it would work out, her going off to uni, whilst I’m stuck here for an extra year.

    That was longest car drive back from college with my parents, they didn’t know what to say, I knew what to say but didn’t want to.

    ‘But you spent so long revising with that Ellie girl.’

    ‘Emily, Mum.’

    Check phone. Nothing.

    ‘It just doesn’t make any sense. You did so much work, and you didn’t get your
    grades. Are you sure you don’t want me to send off for the remarks?’

    ’No it’s fine.’

    ‘I’m going to speak to your head of sixth.’

    ‘No it’s fine.’

    I knew what I got and I knew why-

    Beep. Check phone.

    ‘Yeah, sounds great. Who else is going? x’
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    It wasn't well written but it kept me interested until the end. True story?
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    I would agree with FilthyYouth. I think this could have been much better written; you've got a good grasp of some nice literary features - particular incrementally repeating 'nothing'. I'd do a re-draft if I were you, check for a few basic grammatical errors and see if you can make the whole thing a bit more concise; I felt that in places there were some lines that weren't saying anything - on the surface or analytically.

    The ending was interesting as well; when I first read it I was slightly disappointed with a twee happy ending, but then realised the "who else is going" could be her way of saying "we're going as friends, right?".

    Please do post an updated version if you get round to it!
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    (Original post by FilthyYouth)
    It wasn't well written but it kept me interested until the end. True story?
    What do you think i could change about it to improve it?

    And no it's not a true story.
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    (Original post by sammy-lou)
    I would agree with FilthyYouth. I think this could have been much better written; you've got a good grasp of some nice literary features - particular incrementally repeating 'nothing'. I'd do a re-draft if I were you, check for a few basic grammatical errors and see if you can make the whole thing a bit more concise; I felt that in places there were some lines that weren't saying anything - on the surface or analytically.

    The ending was interesting as well; when I first read it I was slightly disappointed with a twee happy ending, but then realised the "who else is going" could be her way of saying "we're going as friends, right?".

    Please do post an updated version if you get round to it!
    Yeah my grammar is not the best in the world, and i am quite prone to rambling. Other than those things is there anything else you think i could of done to improve it?

    I'm glad you noticed that at the end, I was worried that no one would know that is what i was trying to do.
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    (Original post by thirstysailor)
    Yeah my grammar is not the best in the world, and i am quite prone to rambling. Other than those things is there anything else you think i could of done to improve it?

    I'm glad you noticed that at the end, I was worried that no one would know that is what i was trying to do.
    Rambling is OK, you just need to know how to do it! Catch 22 is a brilliant example of what I mean, if you haven't read it then I'd really recommend it - not necessarily as a model for how this could be, because I don't think this would work as Catch 22 does, but Heller has a really unique way of writing that is incredibly repetitive and tautological, but very effective. You'll know what I mean if you read it.

    In terms of what you can do to improve, it's difficult for me to say. What I find really helpful is to think of your protagonist character outside of the story , although that sounds a bit cliche. I found it difficult to connect to the character because I wasn't sure who he was; all I could tell was that he was a teenager who fancies a girl and didn't get in to uni. Do a little brainstorm, you can go craaazy, make up a whole life for your character. You don't need to bring it all in to the story, but I think that will really help your story develop in terms of the character's dialect, approach to other characters, get a bit of personality through.

    Read through it again, imagine you've got a word limit maybe, and cut out sentences that you don't think are bringing anything to the plot. There are a few. I'll quote and highlight in another post one or two if you want? Then I'd go through it again and work on adding bits that bring more to the plot. Don't fall in to the trap of thinking a short story necessarily has to be focused on one idea only - this can make a story seem rather 2 dimensional and unrealistic.

    I hope that helps a bit - sorry I've gone on a little, I ramble a lot too! Just have a play around with it and see what you can do; you've got the foundations for a good story here.
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    (Original post by sammy-lou)
    Rambling is OK, you just need to know how to do it! Catch 22 is a brilliant example of what I mean, if you haven't read it then I'd really recommend it - not necessarily as a model for how this could be, because I don't think this would work as Catch 22 does, but Heller has a really unique way of writing that is incredibly repetitive and tautological, but very effective. You'll know what I mean if you read it.

    In terms of what you can do to improve, it's difficult for me to say. What I find really helpful is to think of your protagonist character outside of the story , although that sounds a bit cliche. I found it difficult to connect to the character because I wasn't sure who he was; all I could tell was that he was a teenager who fancies a girl and didn't get in to uni. Do a little brainstorm, you can go craaazy, make up a whole life for your character. You don't need to bring it all in to the story, but I think that will really help your story develop in terms of the character's dialect, approach to other characters, get a bit of personality through.

    Read through it again, imagine you've got a word limit maybe, and cut out sentences that you don't think are bringing anything to the plot. There are a few. I'll quote and highlight in another post one or two if you want? Then I'd go through it again and work on adding bits that bring more to the plot. Don't fall in to the trap of thinking a short story necessarily has to be focused on one idea only - this can make a story seem rather 2 dimensional and unrealistic.

    I hope that helps a bit - sorry I've gone on a little, I ramble a lot too! Just have a play around with it and see what you can do; you've got the foundations for a good story here.
    Thanks for the feedback. I know what you mean about the character not being developed enough, generally i focus too much on the events and the ordering of them and the style of narrative that there's really flat characters.

    I'll definitely do the word count thing and try to focus on having more layers in my stories, both in character and overall.

    And i have read Catch-22 it's my favourite book. Well maybe second favourite next to Infinite Jest, but i haven't finished that yet so i don't know if i can claim it as a favourite or not.

    Thanks again. x
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    (Original post by thirstysailor)
    Thanks for the feedback. I know what you mean about the character not being developed enough, generally i focus too much on the events and the ordering of them and the style of narrative that there's really flat characters.

    I'll definitely do the word count thing and try to focus on having more layers in my stories, both in character and overall.

    And i have read Catch-22 it's my favourite book. Well maybe second favourite next to Infinite Jest, but i haven't finished that yet so i don't know if i can claim it as a favourite or not.

    Thanks again. x
    Reading over your story again I think the problem may be more that your characters are too up front and lack the subtlety of real people. For example where the girl says that she's stressed - the way she explicitly says it is what makes her flat as you described it, rather than lacking a background. Sorry - just a thought that I may have got it a bit wrong in my last post!

    Oh good, you'll know what I mean then! It's a fantastic book, one I want to re-read when I get a chance, as I struggled to enjoy the first half but once I began to 'get it', I really loved it. I've not read Infinite Jest - I'll a have a look at it though
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    (Original post by sammy-lou)
    Reading over your story again I think the problem may be more that your characters are too up front and lack the subtlety of real people. For example where the girl says that she's stressed - the way she explicitly says it is what makes her flat as you described it, rather than lacking a background. Sorry - just a thought that I may have got it a bit wrong in my last post!

    Oh good, you'll know what I mean then! It's a fantastic book, one I want to re-read when I get a chance, as I struggled to enjoy the first half but once I began to 'get it', I really loved it. I've not read Infinite Jest - I'll a have a look at it though
    Thanks for all this feedback, it's all really helpful.

    Yeah i know what you mean about it all being too explicit, in the other short story i put up here last week i was told that i made some parts too subtle and they weren't noticed, so i seem to of gone too far in the other direction. Other time hopefully i'll get it right, hopefully.

    Infinite Jest is a bit like Catch-22 in the whole jumping back and forth through time and a ridiculous amount of characters, but it's even harder to get your head round. I'm on page 387 (of 1079) and i've been reading it for two months, which i'm quite embarassed about having read so little even though i enjoy it so much.
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    (Original post by thirstysailor)
    Thanks for all this feedback, it's all really helpful.

    Yeah i know what you mean about it all being too explicit, in the other short story i put up here last week i was told that i made some parts too subtle and they weren't noticed, so i seem to of gone too far in the other direction. Other time hopefully i'll get it right, hopefully.

    Infinite Jest is a bit like Catch-22 in the whole jumping back and forth through time and a ridiculous amount of characters, but it's even harder to get your head round. I'm on page 387 (of 1079) and i've been reading it for two months, which i'm quite embarassed about having read so little even though i enjoy it so much.
    It's really really difficult to strike the right balance, trust me I know! You just need to be dedicated to keep working on it, keep coming back to it with fresh eyes and do what you can.

    Wow that's long - I'm not really put off by long books (proud to say I made it through Stephen King's It without it becoming a drag at all!) but it's always kind of frustrating if you're having trouble keeping up with what's going on!

    And your welcome

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