Posted: 18 February 2008 08:03 PM   [ Ignore ]
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What could be edited out to shorten this?
Who do you think are the author’s influences?

(Click the post title to read the submission.)

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Posted: 12 May 2008 04:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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First. I enjoyed the story. Thank you. You asked about editing. Here is a suggestion covering the first three paragraphs. I hope you don’t mind the liberties taken—I have shortened the story by about 100 words. I see other areas in your story where you would benefit from succinctness; however, it’s your call.

The night of the funeral, we went to the Sugar Bowl, an ice cream shop in Lyndonville. In Caledonia County, this place is the exclamation point at the end of a sentence—the gathering place for the town.

The barn like structure, deep brown with a western feel, is calling to us as we arrive. Inside, long tables packed with people. It is festive—I think of Dad—I smile. I imagine him smiling back.

I don’t need a menu, and I blindly glance the list of goodies. I see Dad’s favorite treat, “Dare to Be Great” an ice cream monstrosity—one scoop of fifty flavors in stock—beckoning me. Whoever devours this massive extravagance within fifty minutes had the honor of their name on the Hall of Fame plaque. Dad’s name was fifth.

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Posted: 19 June 2008 02:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I enjoyed this too… there are some gems in here that kept me reading, because it’s well-written and evocative.  When you’re competing for attention with other submissions that are only a few lines long (ahem, Dave), that is really saying something!

The best part of this, to me, the part I’d never heard of before, never thought about before, was the part where she tries to pick out the card.  If you had to cut out a lot of the rest of the story and just kept that, it would be enough to make it really powerful and original.  I can’t presume to suggest how to cut this or rewrite it, but that’s my two cents.  That’s the part that stands out, having read this quickly just twice.  I do think you could pare things down a bit… eg.:  “I think of Dad—I smile.  I imagine him smiling back.”

I think (for example) that you could cut “I imagine him smiling back” and your reader will still imagine him smiling (or close enough), and you won’t have had to say so. 

Know what I mean?  I struggle with this kind of thing myself.

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