I was glad to feature this, and originally had The Science of Icebergs lined up to be featured earlier but I pushed it back several times. I'm glad I did, the day before it was to be a DD, you submit this and I saw how much of an improvement was made. There are still some areas that could do with some work. As one commenter pointed out, you started a good portion of your sentences very similarly, and it is an easy fix. Does it detract from the story? I don't think so. If anything stood out to me as needing the most improvement it would be the hotline operator, I'm not sure if you have had experience with them, but they have experience with those types of situations. I would reconsider how that part of the story plays out if you are to rewrite it in the future. However, the rest of the dialogue throughout was fantastic, and really pulled the story together.
I wanted to go thank you on your page, but I will thank you here! It was such an honor to be featured, and my first DD! I had pretty much accepted that I wasn't one of those people that get those, so thank you so much
I'm glad you waited for this, too, and I almost didn't post it I wasn't able to edit this as much as I like, and the trouble I always have with first person is trying to switch up the start of my sentences so I'm really going to comb through it now and try to work that out. The thing with the hotline operator... I actually called my local one as research and it was pretty uneventful. I actually made this character more sympathetic that the person I talked to... but then again, it could just be regional differences. About halfway through the conversation I kind of panicked and just banged out an ending for it, so I'm definitely going to revisit that area.
Thanks again for the feature and the comment, it meant a lot to me
I'd write a lengthy and approving couple of paragraphs for you if I could- I have a big test tomorrow though, so I can't exactly do that at the moment. But I'll still praise your little story in these sentences. You wrote very well, with great detail and good mood. And nice ending too, I liked it a lot. Keep writing!
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"Microwave minutes were always so much longer than regular minutes." Nice.
This is a common scenario you've detailed here...yet because this sort of life is common, folks miss the profound in it. The emptiness she feels is exquisitely real and haunting, I know. I'm there my self most days.
First of all let me say that I do like this story in general; I like the tone of it, and the details, and smoking/drinking/calling a suicide hotline in total darkness. I like the way that entire scene is described. The details are amazing.
I can't give a full critique, because: there's one thing that you do in here that bothers me a lot, and you do it so often that if I pointed out every instance, this comment would turn out horribly unbalanced. So I'm not even going to bother going through this again and pointing out every detail that I liked or disliked or could be better. Instead, I'm just going to tell you what that one thing is that bothers me so much:
There's a certain sentence structure that you use quite often: "[verb]ing [object], [subject] [rest of the sentence]." I have three problems with this.
First (and most importantly): Many of the times that you use this structure, you use it incorrectly. The verb must always go with the subject. "Crossing my legs, I balance the book across my knees and begin to flip through the photographs" is all right; "Opening the refrigerator, a wine cooler and a packet of cheese slices greet me" absolutely isn't, because it's not the wine cooler (and packet of cheese slices) that are opening the refrigerator. It's you.
Second (and least importantly): Even when it's used correctly, I'm personally not a fan of this sentence structure at all. It's partly that I've seen it misused so often that I automatically prepare myself to cringe when a sentence starts this way, and partly that it draws a lot of attention to what's happening in the first part of the sentence, which in most cases isn't actually important. This is a matter of personal preference, though, and it doesn't mean you're in the wrong.
Third, and of middle importance: Even if I completely disregard my personal dislike for it, I really do feel that you're overusing this sentence structure. It's especially noticeable in this paragraph:
Turning on my heel, I head back to the break room, tearing at the knot at my back. Pushing open the doors, I yank off the apron and hang it on the hook with the others. Without stopping, I grab my keys and phone from my locker, slamming it shut in my haste.
Same sentence structure three times in a row; nothing different in the entire paragraph. The lack of variety makes that paragraph read as very choppy. That's an extreme example, but I do feel that you're using it too much overall.
I'm going to leave it at that; but before I end this comment, I want to go back to the opening scene again, and mention again how much I like the way you implemented details (I keep coming back to the sock, in particular). You were able to show us quite a lot about the narrator's life with just the way she interacts with her home. Well done.
Hmmm. It's hard to pick out what to critique because I'm not completely sure where you wanted to take this. Overall I think you've figured out the style you want: the narrator's disconnect is clear without it being rubbed in everyone's faces, I don't feel like you need more exposition about why her family wouldn't immediately call her because the flashback makes it clear (and why the helping verbs? Since it's present tense you don't need those so much; I think they slow the already carefully paced scenes down even more), and the ending completed the story. So basically, you know how to write.
What I think is missing here is a clear sense of thematic progression. The narrator has obviously figured out what to do next, or at least what to stop doing, but there's no sense of anything resolving, just the sense that she's moving on. I was intrigued that we never find her real name and couldn't tell if that was set up since the only names we actually get are Joanna and the absent Marley, but maybe that's another concept to explore.
I think I've said this to you before, but honestly, you have a way with little details. I can't explain it exactly, but you always manage to put me there, wherever there is. You use all the senses. You build a scene one little detail at a time, and it's always rich and full when you're done.
I saw you were missing a word in "smiling the new cashier," and thought I'd point that out quickly. But overall, this feels like one of the pieces I would be reading in a literary magazine for a college course. I loved the feel of it, and it was never dull, even though it wasn't a high-octane story. There's something familiar about it. It feels right. Anyway, I love it.