My Short Story

Zedzy

ℑΣÐℑΨ
I am in the process of typing a short story, and wanted to upload it as I progress through making it. I would like any C&C you guys can offer, or suggestions of how I can write better.

Introduction:
Stillwhisper
Introduction

It was another cool day near Stillwhisper Lake. The wind blew softly, pushing the water up the shore with a rhythmic “whoosh”. Small ripples came from the only wooden dock, on rhythm with the waves. Soft, tan-coloured sand stretched far across the shore. Smooth grass met the sand bear Zack’s comfortable little house.

The house was quite old compared to the other houses in Zack’s village. Brown, wooden shutters beat against the house while the wind blew. The trees swayed slowly, as the waves. There were a few flowers here and there around the small cobble path, leading up to a doorway lined with beautifully carved daffodils.

Inside, there was a roaring fireplace near the only two beds. Beside them, lay a few logs of wood, leftover from the harsh winter. Water was boiling on the small wood stove.

This was usual for Zack near lunch, His light brown hair hung over the pot, patiently waiting for his uncle Chasta to finish making lunch. He stared at the water with his cool blue eyes. Zack sat with very structured, with his sturdy, yet lean build, which was used to hard work.

He watched as his uncle Chasta was chopping vegetables. There were bright, orange carrots that seemed to shine from the thin layer of water covering it. Zack could also see bits of green celery, tree-like broccoli, and very few bits of smoked pork. As usual he was making stew. It seemed like that was all he ever made.

Zack’s uncle was happily mixing different spices into his concoction. Chasta was almost always jolly, with his large round belly bouncing, and his beard looking like it stole hair from his face, he made everybody else jolly too.

The only time that Zack remembered when his uncle Chasta wasn’t his jolly self, was when Zack’s father disappeared.

A couple of years ago, a convict escaped from the jail of a nearby village. His name was William Clyde. He was arrested for stealing, and attempted murder. The sheriff and most of his men chased him throughout the night. They ended up near the dock of Stillwhisper Lake. The convict jumped aboard a small boat at the dock, and tore the ropes from it. He proceeded to grab the ores and stared to paddle away.

Zack’s father, Joseph, joined the chase when they entered his village. William stole several items from Zack’s house, including a velvety black box, which his father cherished deeply.
When William started to paddle off, Joseph dove in after him. His strong muscles propelled him forward. His hard work as a farmer made him a large, and broad man. He skillfully swam after the thief into the night. From the on after, no one had ever seen him again.

I made the rising action :(:
It's not very good.
Still want to see it?
I'm warning you, it sucks bad :(.
Fine.
Rising Action

After lunch, Zack placed his plate beside the sink and headed for the door. Before he took two steps uncle Chasta put his hand on Zack’s shoulder, stopping him.

“Where are you going?”

“Oh, just down to the lake with Ace.” remarked Zack.

“Fine, just remember to come home early today; you still have your chores to do.” Chasta said, as Zack was heading outside.

“Bye.” yelled Zack as he closed the door.

“Bye.” Chasta said to himself as he started to work on the dishes.

It was too cold to go swimming, so it was decided that they would play catch. They tossed the ball to each other, poking fun at themselves whenever they made a lousy throw or catch.

Ace’s dark hair flew through the air, as he would throw the ball. Ace’s hair was noticeably longer than Zack’s. Occasionally, he would flick his head
to the side to get his hair out of his eyes.

“Go long!” Zack said, as he started to jog backwards. “Farther!”

It wasn’t until he was near the start of the dock when Zack told him to stop. Zack was close to his house where he stopped. They were about 60 feet apart from each other.

Zack wound up, lined himself, and threw. It flew through the air towards Ace. Ace started to back up, the ball was rising higher and higher as Ace moved back. He stopped at the end of the dock, the ball gradually moving downward. Ace jumped.

The ball fell into the water with a splash. Zack ran up to Ace.

“Nice catch.” he said while staring at the bobbing ball.

“Nice throw.” Ace replied sarcastically.

The ball was moving farther and farther away from the dock.

“C’mon, go.” Ace urged.

“What?”

“Get the ball!”

“But you’re the one who didn’t catch it!”

“Well you’re the one who can’t throw!”

“Fine.” Zack said reluctantly as he got ready to dive in. But before he could have a second thought about it, ace pushed him in.

Zack spurted out water as he came to the surface.


“What was that for?”

“You gunna get the ball?”

Zack started swimming towards it. His clothes greatly reduced his speed, and the waves just added to the difficulty.

When he finally reached the ball it was bobbing up and down in the waves. Zack reached out to grab it just as it was bobbing down. He missed. The ball disappeared underneath the waves. Zack took a deep breath, and went under.

Farther and farther down he went. He kicked his legs quickly trying to get the most out of his breath. He just caught a glimpse of the ball before he had to go up, and take another breath.

“Did ya get it?” Ace said as Zack broke through the cold water.

“No.” he replied along with a mouthful of water.

Before Ace could say another word, Zack was back under. he kicked his legs as hard as he could. Finally, he reached the ball.

He looked up into the murky water, and pushed off from the bottom of the lake. But before he could react, he smashed hid head against a rock overhang.


* * * * *

When he finally came to, he was in a strange place. It seemed like an underground cave. The walls were all smooth. Along the walls there were faintly glowing crystals, which radiated a soft blue glow. These crystals were the only source of light in the cave.

Zack, dizzy from the injury, slowly made his way further into the cave looking for a dry spot to rest. As he got out of the water the tip of his shoe rattled something. As he looked down, beside his foot lay a skeleton.

Zack, terrified, ran far into the cave. He started to pant, not from being tired, but rather, because of fear.

Suddenly, a figure appeared in the shadows. It grabbed him, not bothering to cover his mouth, no one would hear.

“Let go of me!” Zack yelled.

He felt a hand hit him across the face. As he looked up he saw a face that he had never forgotten. The same face he saw when there was a break in at his house. He knew who it was instantly, William Clyde.

William bound Zack by his wrists, and led him farther into the cave. Whenever Zack fell a little behind William gave him a hard kick with the solid tip of his shoe. This went on for a while, until they came to a chamber filled with many crates and boxes. They were filled with an assortment of stolen goods, from (it would seem) places at least five or ten villages over. There were boxes overflowing with jewelry, crates half-full of whisky, food, even suits in some places.

Zack rested against the cave wall, aching, mostly concentrated on the top of his head.

William Clyde was munching on a piece of stale bread on the other side of a few boxes, taking a swig of whisky between each bite.

It was then that Zack noticed something familiar, the black box! It was within arms reach, but his bound hands made it difficult to make it unnoticeable. Zack tried desperately to free his hands, with no avail. He needed something to cut it. The crystals!

Zack positioned himself in front of a on of the crystals. He lined up the rope with it, and pushed it. The crystal started to puncture a hole, but broke off partway. Again he searched for a crystal, one much bigger than the last one. When he found one, he positioned himself with it, but this time, he would try to saw at the rope. It had to do this by scraping it across the rope. As he did this, the crystal would jab into his writs if he mistakenly went too low, or high. Eventually, he got a consistent motion going. This was a slow process, but eventually, he broke free.
 

Ninva

Анна Ахматова
The first thing I noticed is that you used the word house too many times. I also think you're misplacing your comas. I suggest you look up the rules about adding comas. Try to replace small phases, words, with different words to make the flow smoother. You used lunch twice when you could have used afternoon/noon for one of them. The same applies to the word house.

Zack sat with very structured, with his sturdy, yet lean build, which was used to hard work.
I suggest you revise this.

He watched as his uncle Chasta was chopping vegetables. There were bright, orange carrots that seemed to shine from the thin layer of water covering it. Zack could also see bits of green celery, tree-like broccoli, and very few bits of smoked pork. As usual he was making stew. It seemed like that was all he ever made.
I loved this paragraph! The only thing I suggest you to change is, "...Chasta was chopping vegetables." This just doesn't seem to fit in my eyes. Try rewording it.

Zack’s uncle was happily mixing different spices into his concoction. Chasta was almost always jolly, with his large round belly bouncing, and his beard looking like it stole hair from his face, he made everybody else jolly too.
Ah, so you present to us uncle Chasta. He's a neat character, but I think you should try brightening the mood before introducing us to Chasta's cheerful personality. The mood swing just surprised me, but I'm not so certain if that was your goal. But I do know that your mood changes back into a low, mellow, almost depressing mood.

The rest gripped me. I enjoyed it, and I want to read more about Zack and his father.

From the on after, no one had ever seen him again.
I think I caught a typo, but for some strange reason it makes some sense.
 

Zedzy

ℑΣÐℑΨ
Do these sound better?

Zack sat with his sturdy, yet lean body, which was used to hard work.
and
He watched as his uncle Chasta prepared the vegetables.
The only time that Zack remembered when his uncle Chasta wasn’t his jolly self, was when Zack’s father disappeared.
How's this instead?
Though mostly jolly, there was a time when he was greatly saddened. It was when Zack's father dissapeared.
^I'm not very good at un-mood swingify it, but how is this?^

I'm glad you liked it, though I don't think that the rising action is up to par with what I have so far :S.

Thank you for you suggestions :D.

Edit:
The rest gripped me. I enjoyed it, and I want to read more about Zack and his father.
He dies.
 

Seb!

You can change this now in User CP.
Good job! I liked the rhythm. However, there were several typos/comma errors that were not helpful to the flow. Read over a hard copy and check up on comma rules.. as Ninva said. Overall, though, I liked it. :thup:
 

Ninva

Анна Ахматова
Hm, all these sentences seem to improve your story, but I'm a little iffy with the last one about your uncle because you really need to make the mood just flow some how.

He watched as his uncle Chasta prepared the vegetables.
Also, this second one sounds fine, but it should be prepare instead of prepared. I still think you could revise this sentence differently.

No problem, keep posting. I'd like to read the end of this story soon. :D
 

Zedzy

ℑΣÐℑΨ
Also, this second one sounds fine, but it should be prepare instead of prepared. I still think you could revise this sentence differently.
I was taught that it was easiest to right a story in past tense, so the past tense of prepare would be prepared, no?

Good job! I liked the rhythm. However, there were several typos/comma errors that were not helpful to the flow. Read over a hard copy and check up on comma rules.. as Ninva said. Overall, though, I liked it.
Could you please give specific examples?
 

Tharius

Occasionally Around
I think Ninva means that the sentence should be altered to "He watched his uncle Chasta prepare the vegetables." With "He watched as his uncle Chasta prepared the vegetables", it isn't as clear that he is actually watching his uncle, but merely that the watching and the preparing are taking place at the same time.

"This was usual for Zack near lunch, His light brown hair hung...." is one example of an improperly used comma. "...his uncle Chasta wasn’t his jolly self, was when Zack’s father disappeared...." is another. "...bright, orange carrots..." might be a third depending on how you mean to describe the carrots (are they bright and orange? or just bright orange? "bright" is a rather odd description for a vegetable). There are several other places where commas are misused as well.

One thing I would keep in mind is making sure that you're referring to the correct subject. "His light brown hair hung over the pot, patiently waiting for his uncle..." is one example. I'm assuming that it's Zack that's waiting for his uncle, and not his hair. "As usual he was making stew..." is a second one. Because you're using a pronoun, the subject referred to is generally the subject of the previous sentence, which in this case is Zack ("Zack could also see...").
 

Zedzy

ℑΣÐℑΨ
Thank you :).

I made the rising action :(:
It's not very good.
Still want to see it?
I'm warning you, it sucks bad :(.
Fine.
Rising Action

After lunch, Zack placed his plate beside the sink and headed for the door. Before he took two steps uncle Chasta put his hand on Zack’s shoulder, stopping him.

“Where are you going?”

“Oh, just down to the lake with Ace.” remarked Zack.

“Fine, just remember to come home early today; you still have your chores to do.” Chasta said, as Zack was heading outside.

“Bye.” yelled Zack as he closed the door.

“Bye.” Chasta said to himself as he started to work on the dishes.

It was too cold to go swimming, so it was decided that they would play catch. They tossed the ball to each other, poking fun at themselves whenever they made a lousy throw or catch.

Ace’s dark hair flew through the air, as he would throw the ball. Ace’s hair was noticeably longer than Zack’s. Occasionally, he would flick his head
to the side to get his hair out of his eyes.

“Go long!” Zack said, as he started to jog backwards. “Farther!”

It wasn’t until he was near the start of the dock when Zack told him to stop. Zack was close to his house where he stopped. They were about 60 feet apart from each other.

Zack wound up, lined himself, and threw. It flew through the air towards Ace. Ace started to back up, the ball was rising higher and higher as Ace moved back. He stopped at the end of the dock, the ball gradually moving downward. Ace jumped.

The ball fell into the water with a splash. Zack ran up to Ace.

“Nice catch.” he said while staring at the bobbing ball.

“Nice throw.” Ace replied sarcastically.

The ball was moving farther and farther away from the dock.

“C’mon, go.” Ace urged.

“What?”

“Get the ball!”

“But you’re the one who didn’t catch it!”

“Well you’re the one who can’t throw!”

“Fine.” Zack said reluctantly as he got ready to dive in. But before he could have a second thought about it, ace pushed him in.

Zack spurted out water as he came to the surface.


“What was that for?”

“You gunna get the ball?”

Zack started swimming towards it. His clothes greatly reduced his speed, and the waves just added to the difficulty.

When he finally reached the ball it was bobbing up and down in the waves. Zack reached out to grab it just as it was bobbing down. He missed. The ball disappeared underneath the waves. Zack took a deep breath, and went under.

Farther and farther down he went. He kicked his legs quickly trying to get the most out of his breath. He just caught a glimpse of the ball before he had to go up, and take another breath.

“Did ya get it?” Ace said as Zack broke through the cold water.

“No.” he replied along with a mouthful of water.

Before Ace could say another word, Zack was back under. he kicked his legs as hard as he could. Finally, he reached the ball.

He looked up into the murky water, and pushed off from the bottom of the lake. But before he could react, he smashed hid head against a rock overhang.


* * * * *

When he finally came to, he was in a strange place. It seemed like an underground cave. The walls were all smooth. Along the walls there were faintly glowing crystals, which radiated a soft blue glow. These crystals were the only source of light in the cave.

Zack, dizzy from the injury, slowly made his way further into the cave looking for a dry spot to rest. As he got out of the water the tip of his shoe rattled something. As he looked down, beside his foot lay a skeleton.

Zack, terrified, ran far into the cave. He started to pant, not from being tired, but rather, because of fear.

Suddenly, a figure appeared in the shadows. It grabbed him, not bothering to cover his mouth, no one would hear.

“Let go of me!” Zack yelled.

He felt a hand hit him across the face. As he looked up he saw a face that he had never forgotten. The same face he saw when there was a break in at his house. He knew who it was instantly, William Clyde.

William bound Zack by his wrists, and led him farther into the cave. Whenever Zack fell a little behind William gave him a hard kick with the solid tip of his shoe. This went on for a while, until they came to a chamber filled with many crates and boxes. They were filled with an assortment of stolen goods, from (it would seem) places at least five or ten villages over. There were boxes overflowing with jewelry, crates half-full of whisky, food, even suits in some places.

Zack rested against the cave wall, aching, mostly concentrated on the top of his head.

William Clyde was munching on a piece of stale bread on the other side of a few boxes, taking a swig of whisky between each bite.

It was then that Zack noticed something familiar, the black box! It was within arms reach, but his bound hands made it difficult to make it unnoticeable. Zack tried desperately to free his hands, with no avail. He needed something to cut it. The crystals!

Zack positioned himself in front of a on of the crystals. He lined up the rope with it, and pushed it. The crystal started to puncture a hole, but broke off partway. Again he searched for a crystal, one much bigger than the last one. When he found one, he positioned himself with it, but this time, he would try to saw at the rope. It had to do this by scraping it across the rope. As he did this, the crystal would jab into his writs if he mistakenly went too low, or high. Eventually, he got a consistent motion going. This was a slow process, but eventually, he broke free.
 

Ninva

Анна Ахматова
After lunch, Zack placed his plate beside the sink and headed for the door. Before he took two steps uncle Chasta put his hand on Zack’s shoulder, stopping him.

“Where are you going?”

“Oh, just down to the lake with Ace.” remarked Zack.

“Fine, just remember to come home early today; you still have your chores to do.” Chasta said, as Zack was heading outside.

“Bye.” yelled Zack as he closed the door.

“Bye.” Chasta said to himself as he started to work on the dishes.
Who is this Uncle Chasta? I thought he was a jolly man, or is he a very stern displinarian? He could easily be both, but the two just don't seem to mix well with the information you presented us with.

It was too cold to go swimming, so it was decided that they would play catch. They tossed the ball to each other, poking fun at themselves whenever they made a lousy throw or catch.
Who is Ace, and why is this paragraph so vague?

It wasn’t until he was near the start of the dock when Zack told him to stop. Zack was close to his house where he stopped. They were about 60 feet apart from each other.
Some more information on where they are before you go to this peice would be nice.

The ball was moving farther and farther away from the dock.
This seemed to be more of a vague statement than a flowing paragraph. :p

When he finally came to, he was in a strange place. It seemed like an underground cave. The walls were all smooth. Along the walls there were faintly glowing crystals, which radiated a soft blue glow. These crystals were the only source of light in the cave.
I can assume what you're talking about, but I can't see crystals being smooth.

Zack, dizzy from the injury, slowly made his way further into the cave looking for a dry spot to rest. As he got out of the water the tip of his shoe rattled something. As he looked down, beside his foot lay a skeleton.
Nice

Zack, terrified, ran far into the cave. He started to pant, not from being tired, but rather, because of fear.
Describe the fear and the run a little more.

William bound Zack by his wrists, and led him further into the cave.
Farther

***

You wrote the rising action very well, but the descriptions were very vague. You described "introduction" well, but this part of the story still needed some more revising before posting it. Also, I wonder why Clyde didn't kill Zack when he had the chance. Maybe try to inform us with some motive to keep Zack a live. Loneliness, maybe?
Good job, keep posting.
 

Zedzy

ℑΣÐℑΨ
Who is this Uncle Chasta? I thought he was a jolly man, or is he a very stern displinarian? He could easily be both, but the two just don't seem to mix well with the information you presented us with.
Sorry about that, I just assumed that since he was a jolly man, that it would be a polite question asked from a concerned guardian.


Who is Ace, and why is this paragraph so vague?
I'll have to work on that.

Some more information on where they are before you go to this peice would be nice.
You spell piece wrong :rolleyes:.
See above ^.

This seemed to be more of a vague statement than a flowing paragraph. :p
How does this sound instead?

“Nice throw.” Ace replied sarcastically, as the ball moved farther and farther away from the dock.
I can assume what you're talking about, but I can't see crystals being smooth.
My bad, meant to say the wall was smooth except for the crystals.

:D


Describe the fear and the run a little more.
See number 2.

:)

Fixed.

***

You wrote the rising action very well, but the descriptions were very vague. You described "introduction" well, but this part of the story still needed some more revising before posting it. Also, I wonder why Clyde didn't kill Zack when he had the chance. Maybe try to inform us with some motive to keep Zack a live. Loneliness, maybe?
Good job, keep posting.
You'll have to wait to see :).
 

thewrongvine

The Evolved Panda Commandant
Staff member
Nice "short story" (turning out to be a little longer than that) :).

Some parts were a little... well it lost me, and didn't really make sense, but it was overall pretty good.

So is there gonna' be more?
 

Zedzy

ℑΣÐℑΨ

BlargIAmDead

New Member
As far as the "short story" classification, I was taught by my English Lit profs that the cutoff point was something like a hundred pages, or about 20,000 words. After that, it becomes a novella; twice that size, and it's a novel. This is definitely a short story! :thup:

As far as the story itself...not much I can add to what's already been said. I have to disagree with Ninva about the "stew paragraph": I think it's one of the weakest in the story. We don't need to know everything about what common vegetables look like. What we need to know is that the uncle makes the same stew every day, which contributes to the dull, comfortable-but-empty mood of the whole story up to the lake scene. Cut the middle sentences so it reads:

He watched as his uncle Chasta was chopping vegetables. As usual he was making stew. It seemed like that was all he ever made.
 

Ninva

Анна Ахматова
I stated that I loved that paragraph because I wanted to point out how to write a descriptive paragraph without making my own example up for him. You are right, but I didn't see that the paragraph would kill his grade. The teacher probably wouldn't notice it.
(I was kinda hoping he'd catch on and write all his paragraphs like that.)

I didn't proof read this post.
 

Zedzy

ℑΣÐℑΨ
As far as the "short story" classification, I was taught by my English Lit profs that the cutoff point was something like a hundred pages, or about 20,000 words. After that, it becomes a novella; twice that size, and it's a novel. This is definitely a short story! :thup:
I've been righting a bit this weekend and it's almost done. I just need to proof read it a couple of times, and get family member's input, and it should be done soon. Currently, my "short story" is 2,139 words long, with an average of 4.41 letters per word :D.

I was in computer class, and I had five minutes to type that all up. I think typos are acceptable under such circumstances. :)
/accept
 

BlargIAmDead

New Member
Gotcha, Ninva. Um...carry on.

(PS: I always want to write your name as "Nineveh", and only catch myself as I'm just about to hit the "Submit" button.)
 
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