January 2014 Critique Corner

January 2014: Story # 4

Title:                     Untitled

Author:                 Riley

It’s been a while since Callie and I have sat like this. We’re on the porch, and she’s holding my hand, and my head is in her lap. My tears are staining her skirt, and she’s probably looking down at me wondering what happened.

But I can’t tell her. I can’t bring myself to whispers the words that will no doubt fall into existence and then exist, because words like the ones I’m thinking have a lot of power in this world. Sentences like the one that has circled my brain for days on end tend to make mountains crumble into piles of stones and oceans evaporate into nothing.

He’s gone, he left, I don’t know what to do—

I don’t know how to say it so that Callie won’t melt into an ocean of her own tears. My world has already slid off of its axis, and she’s the anchor that is holding there, before it’ll fall off completely.

But the word slip out of my mouth, and we sit on my porch in the sunlight while the clouds bring rain through our minds.

3 thoughts on “January 2014: Story # 4”

  1. I really like the emotions you’ve presented in this story and the fact that I can almost feel them with your characters. There’s a type of sadness that I feel and it’s not explained all the way, but it’s very prominent. I also think that it intrigues me to read more and find out what exactly happened to Callie and her friend.

    I think something you could do to make this even better is possibly add more imagery of where Callie and her friend are at the moment, because right now I only see two people in my head. I don’t see the image around them.

    I think this was a really great piece and I hope you continue!

  2. I like this opening! I get a very strong sense of place. I can picture the main character and Callie sitting there on the porch perfectly.

    Your use of language is amazing. Your words flow together like poetry. They practically put me in a trance! Well done. Your main character’s thoughts are very powerful-filled with emotion. I get a great sense of who she (or he) is by knowing what she (or he) is thinking.

    I like how you build up to what has happened. Your description of the words she can’t say add tension and make me eager to know more.

    I do wish that I knew whether the MC was male or female. I’d also like to know what the relationship between the MC and Callie is. Are they friends? Sisters? Something else? It’s a pretty strong relationship if Callie will react just as badly to the news that “he” is gone as the main character will.

    I also think you have room in this scene to describe more of the setting. A lot of times when a character is in the middle of an emotional moment, their mind notices things around them that they may not otherwise pay attention to. This is a great opportunity to let your reader “see” things through your MC’s eyes. For ex. Random squirrels chasing each other out in the yard, or the paint chipping on the porch railing. These small details can add a lot to your opening.

    This is a really great start. Keep working on it. I’d love to read more about who “he” is, why he left, and why your MC cares so much! Nice work! 🙂

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