Story is submitted, removed to protect. (Move along, nothing to see here.) :) - Mothering Forums
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 30 Old 08-21-2006, 11:34 AM - Thread Starter
Red
 
Red's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: at my keyboard, writing my novel.
Posts: 4,500
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Editted to protect my work for the contest!!! It's been submitted and I'm crossing my fingers. Thanks to everyone who helped!
Red is offline  
#2 of 30 Old 08-21-2006, 01:31 PM
 
BelovedK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: wandering around.... with an aim.
Posts: 16,877
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hi Red

I don't have time to pick apart all of the story, I think it is well written. I'll just give my general opinion.

I think it's a good premise for a longer work, and the ending leaves me wanting to know what is going to happen. I'm not sure, but I think the thing that bothered me was the fact that it felt like a fragment of something else. I also think the senses could be focused on more...adding smell, touch, sight, hearing, and focusing more on the fear when the children didn't come home would make it more rich. Of course, I only read it twice and I am rushed right now. I wonder what other people think...What will happen next?

                                Whatever will be, already is...
 
BelovedK is offline  
#3 of 30 Old 08-21-2006, 09:11 PM
 
marsupial*mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 373
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I disagree with Kellie. I think it's brilliant! The dialogue is punchy and carries you through a lot of details without it seeming at all heavy.

I think the letters need to be less personal, more business-like and much less wordy. I think the impersonal tone would set the reader up to be more suspicious on behalf of the family in the story - good for suspense.

You mention two different presidents - one Holiday and one Harrison. Are they meant to be the same person or different? If they're the same - I like the name Holiday better than Harrison! Nice sense of satire that one!

Finally, I like the ending. It does need to be stronger somehow. It's not obvious to the reader that the parents have been removed of choice I think. If it is now compulsory for the parents to have their children at the school, it does kind of put a new spin on the whole concept of in loco parentis !! Take out the last sentence and the concept is even scarier! I think the "Parents are counseled..." sentence should go last with ....

I hope you win! Good luck!


ETA - I haven't been able to access this site since the last upgrade many weeks ago. I logged in repeatedly this time with no change in log in status but then when I threw caution to the wind and hit Post Reply I got a Quick Reply window - even though I'm not logged in! I'm just writing this now in case I can't get back in again later!
marsupial*mama is offline  
#4 of 30 Old 08-21-2006, 10:02 PM - Thread Starter
Red
 
Red's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: at my keyboard, writing my novel.
Posts: 4,500
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Ah, I knew Kellie would long for the 5 senses. They're so hard for me to fit in and I have soooo little room to work with (2500 words). I love that you were rushed and still read it twice! Thanks! I'll be trying to add some more detail tomorrow.

I didn't realize I lost the formatting when I cut and pasted. I'm going to edit and put it in as it makes it easier to read.

marsupial*mama, thanks! I forgot to change the Presidents name in both places. I do that alot! (And never, ever notice) I think I'll give the ending some serious thought. Maybe include Ellen and Dan's reaction as they listen to the news.

And in just a minute I was able to cut that first letter home by more than a paragraph! Makes more space to add what's missing!

Thanks ladies, you've both helped me already.


(I'm editing out the first version, and sticking my immediate revisions in now. Tomorrow I'll update it again.)
Red is offline  
#5 of 30 Old 08-24-2006, 10:51 PM
 
RiverSky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Paradise
Posts: 7,290
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I supposed the "damn it" at the beginning of the piece should be removed. Other than that, I really liked it. Makes me happy I homeschool!!!!
RiverSky is offline  
#6 of 30 Old 08-26-2006, 12:19 AM - Thread Starter
Red
 
Red's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: at my keyboard, writing my novel.
Posts: 4,500
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
RiverSky, why remove the "damn it"? Did you find it offensive?
Red is offline  
#7 of 30 Old 08-26-2006, 01:16 AM
 
RiverSky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Paradise
Posts: 7,290
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Red
RiverSky, why remove the "damn it"? Did you find it offensive?
Naw, I don't personally. I have a sailor's mouth, I must admit. But it's for Family Circle Magazine right? I'm guessing they might have an issue with it and you could easily replace it with some other emphatic phrase. I could be wrong, though.
RiverSky is offline  
#8 of 30 Old 08-26-2006, 01:29 AM - Thread Starter
Red
 
Red's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: at my keyboard, writing my novel.
Posts: 4,500
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Oh, good. I try not to offend here on MDC!

Thanks! I appreciate you taking the time!
Red is offline  
#9 of 30 Old 09-03-2006, 06:19 AM
 
jdsmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Total Chaos, USA
Posts: 18
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Oh, very interesting. I want to know what happens too. I feel like there should be more to the ending.
jdsmom is offline  
#10 of 30 Old 09-05-2006, 01:01 PM
 
twilight girl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Costa Rica
Posts: 2,531
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I disagree with those who felt the ending was lacking. I thought it ended nice and abrubtly. The ending left me with the shivers! Very nice satire.

My only critique would be that I would prefer that the middle bits be a bit more narrative and less dialogue. This is *me*, but I find that I get a bit bored with the dialogue in the middle. And I think a nice bit of narrative there would go a long way toward making it feel like a little more time was passing between the after school and the sleepover. As it is, even though you mention a couple of weeks after the after school in the dialogue, it feels like both things came one after the other.

Otherwise, brilliant idea! I truly hope that it is not prophetic :

Re: the "damn it", I don't think it is so much the language that offends, it's that the mother says it to the child. However, I think that it also underscores the stress of the mom, and how the President laters comes to the conclusion that parents are unfit parents, maybe. That said, after her "damn it" I fully expected her "quality time, my foot" to read "quality time, my ass." More punch to the sentiment.

Good luck to you, it's a brilliant idea, and it could make for a very chilling novel!
Judi
twilight girl is offline  
#11 of 30 Old 09-05-2006, 02:14 PM
 
kathirynne's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Courageously slaying my own dragons
Posts: 1,574
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by RiverSky
Naw, I don't personally. I have a sailor's mouth, I must admit. But it's for Family Circle Magazine right? I'm guessing they might have an issue with it and you could easily replace it with some other emphatic phrase....
How about "Honestly, Jeremy!" instead of "Damn it, Jeremy"? (I say "honestly" to my children all the time as an "emphatic phrase". (When I say it that way, it means "damn it." )

Visit www.evolutiontosimplicity.blogspot.com to follow my epic saga of single mummahood....

 

kathirynne is offline  
#12 of 30 Old 09-05-2006, 10:40 PM - Thread Starter
Red
 
Red's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: at my keyboard, writing my novel.
Posts: 4,500
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks for the suggestions. twilight girl, I've been wondering if the dialogue was too much. I'll re-read it and decide.

Hmmm, I rahter like the 'damn it'. I felt it showed her frustration. And after all it's a mainstream mag contest, not like it;s an AP article. I'll be consdiering it carefully, but don't be surprised if it stays.

I feel the ending is successful because you are feeling what I wanted you to feel. I like that you're wanting more.


Red is offline  
#13 of 30 Old 09-05-2006, 11:14 PM
 
twilight girl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Costa Rica
Posts: 2,531
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Red,

One other thought: I don't think the title really illuminates much. I actually almost didn't read it because I didn't find the title said anything to me.

Otherwise, and
twilight girl is offline  
#14 of 30 Old 09-06-2006, 11:11 AM - Thread Starter
Red
 
Red's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: at my keyboard, writing my novel.
Posts: 4,500
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
ACK! I forgot about a good title! That was just the first thing that came to mind when I was saving it.




Suggestions???
Red is offline  
#15 of 30 Old 09-06-2006, 11:38 AM
 
twilight girl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Costa Rica
Posts: 2,531
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Well, unfortunately all I keep thinking is "Soylent Green is people!"

By the way, one discrepancy I noticed in the first note home to the parents. First it says that the after school program is available to all the students, then at the end it says space is limited. If that was on purpose, I missed the purpose

Title, title, title ... I'll let you know if anything pops up.
twilight girl is offline  
#16 of 30 Old 09-06-2006, 09:45 PM - Thread Starter
Red
 
Red's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: at my keyboard, writing my novel.
Posts: 4,500
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by twilight girl
Well, unfortunately all I keep thinking is "Soylent Green is people!"


I don't think I'll use THAT!

Quote:
Originally Posted by twilight girl
By the way, one discrepancy I noticed in the first note home to the parents. First it says that the after school program is available to all the students, then at the end it says space is limited.

Ahhhhh. Son of a gun. Thanks!
Red is offline  
#17 of 30 Old 09-06-2006, 10:37 PM
 
twilight girl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Costa Rica
Posts: 2,531
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I wonder if the old Soviet Union had any program like the one in your story. You might find your title somewhere in real life. Or China. Good luck!
twilight girl is offline  
#18 of 30 Old 09-07-2006, 10:22 PM
 
TigerTail's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: I'm finally here!
Posts: 9,368
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hmmn. I like it, but I agree with the 'damn'. Keep 'damn' & add 'ass' (& pretty much kiss off Family Circle) or, er, emasculate it summat.

There are a couple of 'still's I'd comma after, but that's a matter of taste.

The president is emphasized as pounding his fist at 'more' before he ever says 'more'. I'd cut & paste that below all his 'more'ing. (And I've gotten attached to paragraphs before , but I'd almost wonder if it would have more effect played calmer.. more chilling.)

One last addendum: er, don't these things make a big deal about things being *cough* 'unpublished'? Don't kill the messenger (flinch), I just know from my recipe contests that things are disqualified for being on the 'net, as that is considered 'published' to them.

You might consider editing it (your post) after you are done with us. I really do like it, & hope to read it in the mag one day soon.
TigerTail is offline  
#19 of 30 Old 09-10-2006, 10:13 PM
 
nova22's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Filibustering Vigilantly
Posts: 4,972
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Haven't read the whole thread so I could give a fresh opinion first...

YIKES! I wasn't expecting that one. It had sort of a sci-fi feel to me. It gave me chills, big ones! When the parents were eating dinner alone I got that weird "something is wrong" feeling, and it escalated and escalated until at the end I was shocked with "the children are safe." I actually want to go cry now, thinking about all the kids who didn't even get to say goodbye to their parents, and vice-versa. Maybe I'm a little oversensitive but this story really got to me. The only thing I found wrong with it was that they said space was limited, then later there was 100% attendance. Other than that continuity error I really enjoyed the story. A lot. Please PM me if you ever write more to it.

DH & Me + DS(7)  DD(6)  DD(4)  DS(3)  DD(1)  
 
Baby #6: 20****25****30****35**heartbeat.gif** - EDD December 17, 2010
nova22 is offline  
#20 of 30 Old 09-11-2006, 01:36 PM - Thread Starter
Red
 
Red's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: at my keyboard, writing my novel.
Posts: 4,500
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks all! Today is it's final polishing. I'm making a number of changes, fixing some of what's been pointed out, tuning up other parts that I wasn't happy with. I'm deleting the actual story, to avoid it being 'published' here! (thanks TigerTail!)

I'm sending it in tomorrow. Stilll thinking of possible titles..."The Children are Safe"
"Extended Day"
"Improved Education"
"Searching for Quality Time"


I wish you all were the judges! If this WINS, I get another month before I have to job hunt.: Ugh, I hate working...not work, just nasty, low-level, dumb jobs, which are what I usually get. If I can make $700-$800 a month writing, I can forgo EVER working again!

Here's to giving it my best shot!
Red is offline  
#21 of 30 Old 09-11-2006, 02:56 PM
 
twilight girl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Costa Rica
Posts: 2,531
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Good luck, Red!

Don't title it The Children are Safe. Will take the punch and chills away from the ending. If I think of something in the next, oh, minute or two, I'll pipe in.

FWIW, for the novel thread, my baby is called "twilight girl is invisible". Twilight Girl has always been what I call my main character for this endeavor, that's where my screen name came from. On MDC, there is a red button under my name, and I put the cursor on it once, and that is what it said. I loved it for a title of my book!

So, don't forget to look in unusual places for inspiration!

Good luck and KEEP US POSTED!!!!
twilight girl is offline  
#22 of 30 Old 09-12-2006, 10:51 AM
 
twilight girl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Costa Rica
Posts: 2,531
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
How about

Permission Slip

or

Parental Consent Required
twilight girl is offline  
#23 of 30 Old 09-12-2006, 11:18 AM - Thread Starter
Red
 
Red's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: at my keyboard, writing my novel.
Posts: 4,500
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I've GOT to decide!


I like Permission Slip. DD suggested Reforming Education, or Reforming School. I like Quality Time. I have to decide within the next few minutes, and then go to the library, print it and mail it out!

YOu were absolutely right about The Children are Safe. Giving away the end would be a mistake. Thanks! I laughed over using "Red is Invisible" ! Funny how Twilight Girl is Invisible sounds SO cool, and Red just doesn't. Great idea for a title!
Red is offline  
#24 of 30 Old 09-12-2006, 12:10 PM
 
twilight girl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Costa Rica
Posts: 2,531
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The only thing I don't like about Reforming Education or Reforming School, is that they sound like essay titles, not short story fiction titles.
twilight girl is offline  
#25 of 30 Old 09-12-2006, 02:57 PM
 
TigerTail's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: I'm finally here!
Posts: 9,368
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Ooh, I like 'Extended Day'. Ominous.

Good luck!
TigerTail is offline  
#26 of 30 Old 09-13-2006, 11:20 AM
 
twilight girl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Costa Rica
Posts: 2,531
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Red,

What did you go with for the title?

Judi
twilight girl is offline  
#27 of 30 Old 09-13-2006, 11:28 AM - Thread Starter
Red
 
Red's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: at my keyboard, writing my novel.
Posts: 4,500
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
: I'm NOT happy with the title. I just called it Quality Time. And I've been kicking myself since the socond it hit the mailbox!

However, it's DONE and mailed and I'm really happy about that.

I won't know how I did until November 15th. Seems like a lifetime!
Red is offline  
#28 of 30 Old 09-13-2006, 11:31 AM
 
twilight girl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Costa Rica
Posts: 2,531
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Oh, sweet torture! That's a looooong time away isn't it?

I think the title is fine. Don't worry, the story is good, and it certainly wouldn't be rejected because they didn't like the title, right? They might suggest a change to the title, but the story is very solid. I think you've got a good chance!!!
twilight girl is offline  
#29 of 30 Old 09-14-2006, 08:02 AM - Thread Starter
Red
 
Red's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: at my keyboard, writing my novel.
Posts: 4,500
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks! I feel really good about the story itself. I know I did my best. If it wins I'm going to start referring to myself as.....an author!: Having never had anything published I'm not comfortable doing that now.
Red is offline  
#30 of 30 Old 09-25-2006, 02:33 PM
 
nova22's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Filibustering Vigilantly
Posts: 4,972
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Good luck with your story! I hope you're published.

DH & Me + DS(7)  DD(6)  DD(4)  DS(3)  DD(1)  
 
Baby #6: 20****25****30****35**heartbeat.gif** - EDD December 17, 2010
nova22 is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off