October 2013 Critique Corner

Story # 4

Title:          2076

Author:     Riley

The minute Max slammed the newspaper on the lunch table in front of me, I knew something was up. “Boston Tea Party,” the caption read. It was my mother’s newspaper.
“What’s this?”
Max’s face is grim, his eyes like stone. “Last night some… rebels from the government– they were Minors–threw tea in Boston Harbor. I don’t know what’s going on, but… Olive, I think your mom is in trouble. They stopped printing the paper and the Greaters took every copy from our street. I snagged this one from Leland before they came there.” He says this without looking away from me. I’ve been slowly eating cold macaroni noodle by noodle, taking in his every word.
“What about the Greater Times?” I ask, referring to the other paper in the area.
“It’s the same story, but they called it the Boston Harbor Incident. Don’t know what the name has anything to do with it, but none of those were confiscated…” Ashley trails off and slides onto the bench next to me, pulling a copy out of her bag.
I don’t look at it. My mother has been running the North Andover Chronicle since before I was born. She knew what she was doing. I shouldn’t be worried, but the pit in the bottom of my stomach tightens, and I feel like I’ve been swallowing snakes. Something is going on.

5 thoughts on “Story # 4”

  1. You had me at swallowing snakes. I want to read more of this story. You could almost say this is a revolutionary concept, threading old and new times into the same plot. I hope you will be expanding this. I love it.
    Robert J.

  2. Interesting! A time period story. I like it! The first sentence is very strong. Right away, I know there’s a problem. I’m not sure yet who Max is, but that’s okay. To the main character, he represents a person she knows and who is visibly upset. I want to keep reading to learn what’s wrong. Your descriptions are used sparingly but just enough, like Max’s eyes. Nice job! I also like how you weave bits of history into the dialogue. It feels natural and makes for an interesting read. In the beginning paragraph, you mention the main character’s mother. I don’t think this is necessary. You’ve already mentioned Max and the main character. It gets confusing when you bring in too many characters too soon. I can see it’s important to the story to know that her mother owns the newspaper. You can mention her in the next paragraph and it will be just as effective without being confusing. I would like to know the main character’s name at this point though. That connection between the reader and main character is so important. I would find away to work this in. Overall, this is a great start. I like the premise and I can feel the tension throughout. I want to know how this will play out. Keep at it. You’ve got something good here!

  3. I love how you set this up and I love the idea behind it. I think it could be a very strong story if you end up developing it. I think there’s a lot going on all at once, and that could make a great scene if you flesh it out a bit. Great job!

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