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historybuff234
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A short story would, would really appreciate feedback and constructive criticism

[ Edited ]
Hey fellow writers, I have a short story that I thought of last night that I'd like to write here and get some feedback and constructive criticism. This is a short story with a few ethnic groups in it and although it may seem like I am insulting and stereotyping them just read the whole story first and then you will see that I am not insulting them.

It was a hot day in the town in California, tourists were every where. It was an old ghost town. The owner of the property was making a ton of money off of it.
Legend had it that a few brave Hawaiian natives had sailed across the ocean to prove that their was land there. When they reached the coast of what is now California they encountered the natives there. At first it looked like it would come down to a battle but then they made peace. They all lived and combined their cultures to make a unique blend of a tribe. It was not like a blend that didn't work out, like penutbutter and baloni. But instead it worked out excellent like penuttbutter and jelly. They were a peaceful people. When the white settlers came they made peace with them and shared their land with the whites. The legend seemed to be true and there was evidence to prove it.
Here were two men sitting in rocking chairs out in the front of the diner. One was a Hawaiian, he was in a grass skirt, had a necklace of flowers around his neck,had a ukalaii at his side,was wearing a plaid shirt, and khaki pants under the skirt. The other was a Native American he was also in a plaid shirt, khaki pants, a hat with feathers around it, and a tom-tom at his side. They sat their the Hawaiian had a name tag on that said, "Chief Wanasitonbeach" and the Native American's said, "Chief Heapbigwisdom". They sat talking and Chief Wana said, "You Chief, how did your people fight before we came?"
"We fought with bow and arrow. And heap big clubs. How your people fight?"
"We fought with spear, and volcano size club. What you people do with settlers who wanna fight?"
"How? We tie them up to heap big tree and burn them. What you people do?"
"How? We throw them into volcano. Then they burn up."
"I see both peoples like fire."
"Yes, Fire good. Fire make meat taste good, fire make warmth, and fire make heat during winter. What do you do in Hawaii in wintertime?"
"What winter, Chief Heapbigwisdom?
"Winter, Don't you know what it is? Ah, yes it warm all the time in Hawaii. Well, winter is when it get cold, snow fall from sky to ground. Winter cold and hard."
"Oh, we never get cold things like that in Hawaii."
Then Chief Wanasitonbeach looked at his watch and said, "Hey Rob, do know what time it is?"
Then Chief Heapbigwisom looked at his and said, "Oh my goodness! Our shift was done an hour ago Chris. Oh, let's just let the tourists have one more picture."
The tourists took a few more pictures, then Rob and Chris walked out to the parking lot and Bob said, "Oh, Chris isn't this a strange job! We sit their like idiots and let the tourists see an "authentic" natives. Oh, they would never know what our cultures really are like. We talk like thay do in those old Western Movies."
"Yeah, ironic isn't. Where you want to go Bob? Chinese, Japanese, burgers, steak, Italian, or something else."
"Hmm, I'm in the mood for Italian."
The the two best friends entered a SUV. A few of the tourists that had been in the parking lot looked at them funny, then Bob turned and said to them, "Hey you want to know something funny? We are normal people like you. We don't live in tepees and huts, we are like you!"
The they drove off leaving the tourists shocked. One of the tourists said, "You owe me ten bucks. I won the bet."

Message Edited by historybuff234 on 06-13-2007 06:57 PM
The important thing, is to keep the important thing the important thing.
-Albert Einstein
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dragonastia
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Re: A short story would, would really appreciate feedback and constructive criticism

[ Edited ]
It was an interesting twist at the end. I like that.
However, You may want to make the story a bit more interesting to begin with because I almost stopped reading and would have gotten the wrong idea. Use clear desrciptions and interesting story plots. You have a great talent that only needs to be honed down and filed to a keen point. Keep it up.

Message Edited by dragonastia on 06-25-2007 05:07 PM
Matthew Renivan
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snider_kr
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Re: A short story would, would really appreciate feedback and constructive criticism

that was a neat little story. i liked the little humor you threw in it.
‡¥‡ When it comes to LOVE, even forever don't seem long enough ‡¥‡
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Madelia
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Re: A short story would, would really appreciate feedback and constructive criticism

I agree with dragonastia.
Also, spellcheck can be your best friend. Make sure to use it.
But be careful...because it can be your worst enemy too.
Spellcheck your work a couple times throughout and when you are finished, ask a friend to look over for things you may have mixed. It's easy to look over homonyms, especially those like "there", "their" and "they're", and "to", "two" and "too."


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historybuff234
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Re: A short story would, would really appreciate feedback and constructive criticism

[ Edited ]
Oh, I think some of you have read it wrong. Although I used spellcheck, I didn't use correct grammar and things like that because it would make the Native American more steroetypical. I though I should let you all know.

I agree with the person who said more detail and that I have a lot of talent. I enjoy writing a lot and I have to work a bit more on my writing.

I'm begining a novella tonight. I hope it's okay with all of you if I post it here every now and then after I'm done with it. I'll post it, and then edit and polish it and then post it again. I want to see what you all think of my first draft and the editing and polishing.

I'm going to post a short story I've been working on here after I'm done with this post. I'd like constructive critiscim on that too. You must understand how much I appreciatte you all reviewing my work, I know no one who is a writer and this forum is a God sent for me. My friend has not gotten to read any of my work yet, but I likie posting it here because you all here are fellow writers.

It is a grear honor to have so many members of our government laying dead in our sitting room! -Monty Python's Flying Circus

Message Edited by historybuff234 on 06-28-2007 07:44 PM
The important thing, is to keep the important thing the important thing.
-Albert Einstein
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historybuff234
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Re: A short story would, would really appreciate feedback and constructive criticism



dragonastia wrote:
It was an interesting twist at the end. I like that.
However, You may want to make the story a bit more interesting to begin with because I almost stopped reading and would have gotten the wrong idea. Use clear desrciptions and interesting story plots. You have a great talent that only needs to be honed down and filed to a keen point. Keep it up.

Message Edited by dragonastia on 06-25-2007 05:07 PM




I'm just curious, what made you almost stop reading it? What do you think would make it moe interesting? All of you can answer these question if you want to.
The important thing, is to keep the important thing the important thing.
-Albert Einstein
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historybuff234
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Re: A short story would, would really appreciate feedback and constructive criticism

Here's my short story I've been working on. I post others later. I hope you all enjoy it.



A Battle During the Boer War


My name is Arthur Brown. I was on sentry that night during the Boer War. I was a new soldier to this war. I had seen combat before, but not heavy combat. I was stationed at a little outpost, there was a few buildings. We were in a part of South Africa that the Boer activity was heavy in, and surprise attacks and ambushes were commonplace and daily life for us.

It was a hard thing to get used to. Friends dying, seeing men fight like wild beasts for their lives. It is a sad thing to know that no man wants to die but that a war can't be won without men dying. It is a sad sight when you see the brown earth being flung onto the oak coffin with a man who was once alive contained in it. And even more sad when you think about the hickory cross shoved into the earth with the man's name written on it. What is most heartbreaking is the family he leaves behind, well that is if he has a family. But then they are soldiers, and a soldier's job is to fight an his employer is the monarch. It is sad to think that the soldier's job is like a game of dice. You place a massive bet(your life) and you could win or lose. If you win you survive and if you lose, well, you die. The soldier's job is a job os chance, luck, honor, and worst of all death.

We knew that there was not many of us, and that there was a lot of Boers out there, so we had to always on the watch for them. I was extremely alert on that dark warm night. I was careful to be sure that my Lee Enfield Rifle was loaded, I was a good shot with it. But I had heard that those Boers were much better shots with their Mauser Rifles. I think that our Enfields are better, because we have ten shots in them and the Mausers only have five.

After about two hours I became quite bored and tired, so I sat down on a stone wall that was at my post. I sat there for about another three hours, until I heard something. I turned, and I saw something moving towards me. It was a Boer who was armed with a knife, he moved towards me slowly. I raised my rifle to fire and he charged at me. I fired a shot and he went down. Then everyone asleep in the outpost immediately woke up, grabbed their rifles, loaded them, got dressed, grabbed ammunition, and headed out within a matter of about two minutes.
During the time when they were hurrying out to fight off the attack, I fired many shots, but I could not hold back all the Boers coming at us. I fell back and told my commanding officer, "Sir they are charging right at us, we must hold them back somehow, but I don't know how."
"All right, that is fine, you are a new soldier. All right we should hold our ground, you will go around and tell them all to stand and fight here at the wall. If we need to retreat we will move into the buildings and defend them, but be sure to tell them not to retreat before I say so. Now go tell them my orders!"

I ran quickly and told them what my officer wanted them to know. I ran back to my officer and defended the wall until he told me to go tell the men to retreat to the buildings. I did that and we all ran into the buildings.

The Boers regrouped for a large attack on our outpost. We all prepared for the assault on our buildings.
Then the Boers charged like wild men, they came running straight at our buildings. They had a wild look in their eyes, a look like a tiger when it attacks its prey. They charged down at us, they were mowed down terribly by our accurate and fast firing. They kept running at us, and when they reached point blank range, they jumped through the windows fought us with knifes, machetes, and bayonets. We fought back to save the outpost and our lives, but for some of the unfortunate men the enemy overwhelmed them and took over their building.
The enemy though, through this savage attack did not gain victory, as soon as dawn broke we emerged from our buildings to tend to the wounded, and bury the dead. We knew that the enemy would be back within a few hours with more men. We all barricaded the buildings and prepared for another attack. We decided that it would be better if we were not spread out through all of the buildings but in the larger more central buildings, where we could store food and ammunition, and keep the wounded in a safe place. We locked the other buildings that we would not use. We were absolutely positive that the locks could not be broken.
We gathered in the other building to fend off the assault of the Boers. the buildings we in were connected by tunnels so that we could go between them and not be in danger.
The time was about 11:00 AM when the Boers tried the second time to take the little outpost that we had to defend. We saw them climbing over our wall. They saw that the outpost was empty, they thought we had retreated. But they were wrong, very wrong. They began to try to get into our buildings, they probably wanted to pillage our outpost. when they discovered that the buildings were locked they acted very annoyed. They began to move toward the main buildings we were in. The main buildings had a second floor, which helped them to be able to pack more men into them. The Boers began to move towards our buildings. The men were told before to hold the buildings at all costs.
The head officer, his name was Captain Doyle, he yelled, "Fire!"
the men fired and most of the bullets hit their mark, they were at close range when they fired ,so the volley was quite destructive. The Boers retreated to behind the wall. Once they were safely behind the wall they returned fire.
Suddenly on the distance, Boer horsemen could be spotted. There was so many of them, that they struck fear and terror in even the most hardened veteran. They came charging, they had swords drawn, and swinging the sword above their heads and shouting. One of them went and dismounted and talked to the officer of the Boers. The man went back and got some of his men to dismount. During this time we kept putting down accurate fire with our rifles, but that was not enough. Captain Doyle told one of the men to get out the gatling gun. The man said to the captain, "But sir, it is in the armory."
Then Captain Doyle replied, "Well, use the tunnel to get it over here! Oh, and be sure to bring lots of ammunition. All right, get to it!"
During this time we were up stairs when a few of the Boers ,under covering fire from their comrades, ran up to the building, and placed a few lighted sticks of dynamite right against the walls. The men all backed up, after they had shot the Boers who placed them, and took cover. Captain Doyle ran down and said, "Quickly turn over the tables and take cover behind the desks, they will be charging us after they open up the wall."
The men quickly reloaded their rifles, and looked forward to the charge that would be coming quickly. They raised their rifles to fire when the charge came, their blackened faces aimed to fire. Then the explosion came, the shock wave knocked them back. When the smoke cleared they saw that the entire side of the building had been blown away. Then the mounted Boers charged through the opening, they drew their swords and machetes. The valiant defenders fired back, they downed many of the enemy, but that did not stop them. The men retreated up stairs and into the tunnel. the men that stayed fought like wild men to defend their post, most of them had already drawn their bayonets before the charge came. They defended their posts until they had to retreat to the upper level and into the tunnel.
The men on the upper level decided to try and break through the fighting down stairs and fall back to the other building through the tunnel. They fixed their bayonets, reloaded their weapons, grabbed all the explosives and ammunition, and prepared to move into the tunnel.
They went down and forced to enemy to fall back with their fierce counter attack, then they opened the tunnel and ran down it to defend the other building. But first, they rigged many sticks of dynamite around the building to destroy anything the Boers could use. They all moved down the tunnel until they reached the other side when they were greeted by the other officer, Lieutenant Keith, he said to them, "You couldn't hold the other building I see. Oh well, we will have more men to defend here." Suddenly they heard the explosion. Then Captain Doyle said, "Well they won't be able to use that building."
They were about to exit the tunnel, when they heard the Boers attack on the other building. Then they heard the same noise except closer, they turned and saw the enemy charging down the tunnel. they turned and defended it until the Boers retreated. Captain Doyle turned and said to me, "All right, I want to go into the armory, get a Gatling Gun, and set it up right here. Be sure that you bring plenty of ammunition."
I ran quickly down the tunnel, and got into the armory. I walked up to the building where the weapons were kept, I got Kieth to come with and help me. We grabbed the gun and the ammunition and hurried down to the tunnel. We set it up, and when we were done it was just in time for the next Boer attack. They came charging down the tunnel with great speed, but they were mowed down with the Gatling Gun. They decided not to go through to attack that way.
I was ordered to blow up the tunnel by Captain Doyle, so that the enemy could only attack at the building it self. I set the explosives and we evacuated the tunnel. I lit and fuse and prepared for the explosion.
We ran up to the top level of the building and looked at the ensuing battle. We saw that the small amount of Boers left were going to charge the door. They all charged and we used another one of the Gatling Guns to hold them off. They were stopped in their tracks, many of them threw up their hands and screamed, "Don't shoot! We surrender!"
The battle was over, it had been long, hard, bloody, and destructive. It had left many of our men dead and wounded, and our buildings damaged by bullets and explosives. It was going to be a disgusting job to clean up the dead, from both our side and the Boer dead.
We emerged from our last building and walked around to round up the prisoners. We also had to go to open up our locked buildings. We began to walk towards one of our buildings, we walked up to it and I began to batter the door down with the butt of my rifle. After a while it finally gave in, we moved in to be sure that no enemies got in. When all of a sudden, a Boer began to fire from the inside with a pistol. Keith was hit twice and went down, Doyle was almost hit, and I was almost hit as well. I ran up to him and hit him with the butt of my rifle. He went down and I said to Doyle, "Sir, do you want me to kill him?" Doyle replied, "Yes, kill him right now!"I fired my rifle and killed him. I turned to Doyle and he said, "We should blow up the other buildings to be sure there will be no more casualties."
I promptly went to place the explosives and blew up a lot of the buildings the rest were cleared out.
The battle was now over it had resulted in many of our buildings being blown up and much of our outpost needed to be repaired. Fortunately, we had the Boer prisoners to help do the work. Days later when we received more supplies Keith had received orders to be placed in higher position of authority in Egypt. Captain Doyle had decided to promote me to Keith's position, and I was happy about that. After a few years in the army I decided to go back to England and help manage my sister's book shop. Even though I spent many years in the military I never forgot that night in Africa.
The important thing, is to keep the important thing the important thing.
-Albert Einstein
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Madelia
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Re: A short story would, would really appreciate feedback and constructive criticism

No, I understood the poor grammar with that, I was just noting words like "peanutbutter" and "bologna". There were a few others in there as well, but I don't have time to go back and check.


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historybuff234
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Re: A short story would, would really appreciate feedback and constructive criticism

[ Edited ]
Thanks, it was an accident, and a silly one. I am glad that someone understood that part in the short story. I'll be posting more short stories later. I'll be posting a part of my novella today also.

Message Edited by historybuff234 on 06-29-2007 10:56 AM
The important thing, is to keep the important thing the important thing.
-Albert Einstein
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perforatedxhearts
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Re: A short story would, would really appreciate feedback and constructive criticism

The first story you posted seemed more like a really long joke, for some reason. I was expecting a major punch at the end, or something. I guess I got it.

The second one, well. You wrote it very straightforward, you know? Just went through sentence by sentence and once you said it, it was said and done and no going back. That's the overall mood or tone that I felt [of course, I sort of skimmed through it, but still got that feeling]. Try adding some more feeling to it. It'll become better if you add more emotion to it, rather than having your characters act half-robot.

I'm sorry if I didn't make sense. :/

--Serena
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historybuff234
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Re: A short story would, would really appreciate feedback and constructive criticism



perforatedxhearts wrote:
The first story you posted seemed more like a really long joke, for some reason. I was expecting a major punch at the end, or something. I guess I got it.

The second one, well. You wrote it very straightforward, you know? Just went through sentence by sentence and once you said it, it was said and done and no going back. That's the overall mood or tone that I felt [of course, I sort of skimmed through it, but still got that feeling]. Try adding some more feeling to it. It'll become better if you add more emotion to it, rather than having your characters act half-robot.

I'm sorry if I didn't make sense. :/

--Serena




Thanks, I think that the first story was kind of a silly little thing I just thought up, I'm sure even Dostoevsky wrote silly things like that for practice!

Thanks a lot for the help on the second on, I should put more feeling and emotion into it. I didn't really think about it, but it does make sense that it was kind of straight forward. Do you think I should go and edit it and post it again to see what you all think of the edited version and my editing? You know what, I think I'll fo that.

I'm not sure why, but I seem to have a knack for writing things that deal with and take place during and in war. I am going to change my novella a bit right now so I can put more emotion and felling into it. I don't know what I would do without this writing club. I am going to write a second short story that deals with a British soldier during the Mau Mau uprising, I'll put quite a bit more emotion into it. Like in the parts where he sees his comrades chopped up by the rebels. I think I'll also write one that takes place during WWII. That should be an interesting one.
The important thing, is to keep the important thing the important thing.
-Albert Einstein
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ixari
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ConCrit

I'd suggest, first of all, polishing up on the punctuation. Some people think it's not important, but hey, a writer conveying a message has to use every single thing in his arsenal, right?

Also, like a previous commenter had said, I'd say you need to push up some more descriptive phrases in there. Spice it up a bit. We don't want it bland--readers will stop reading that way.

Also, make a point of watching your sentences. They tend to be short and simple, and though that's not a bad thing, an occasional pretty sentence here and there doesn't hurt. It eases the tone of too much simplicity from the story, as well as gives it more flair. Start making longer sentences, or try switching your words with alternates.
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topublish
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Re: A short story would, would really appreciate feedback and constructive criticism

Hi there,

A nice little story with an interesting concept.

Constructive criticism I might offer is to make more effort to show me rather than tell me. For example, is there not a very brief but effective way to show me that it was a hot day instead of just telling me? I realize space is limited, but there are ways to pull it off.

It's hard for me to criticize other people's work when I know that my writing is not exactly the best thing since Homer.

I wish you the best.
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historybuff234
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Re: A short story would, would really appreciate feedback and constructive criticism

I've been working on another short story, in this I've kind of let my Edgar Allan Poe side out. It's weird, but I think you all here would like it. And as normal please give me some constructive criticism on it, as this board is the only place that can look at my work and tell me from a writer's point of view what can be done. I hope you all like it, and there's plenty more coming. One thing that I want to let you all know is that you might have to read it a few times and think about it to get it, and it's meant to be like that. It makes it more fun.



Mt. Killamanjaro



Once I was on an expedition in Africa to the famous Mt. Killamanjaro. I and my guide and his assistant were with me during it. It was a humid day and you sweat so much that you no longer cared if your shirt and pants were completely soaked, all you cared about then was seeing it.

My guide was a Britain who was from London but became a guide early after completing college, he was an experienced guide who had served me through many expeditions.

His assistant's name was Jaro. His assistant was an odd man, short and stocky, he spoke good English, and was native to Kenya. He was known for being an excellent shot with a rifle and was considered on of the best hunters and sharpshoter in the country. This was his first time being with my guide to Mt. Killamanjaro. He was an odd man in the sense that he took every order without question and would do anything told to him. He probably would even kill if you asked him to!

Well, back to our story now. We were walking along and my guide began pointing through the trees and said, "Killamanjaro! Killamanjaro!" Then ,all of a sudden, Jaro just ran off into the jungle. My guide was baffled by his running off. Soon we heard a shot ring out, then we ran to hear it. My guide prayed that it wouldn't be bandits or rebels. It wasn't either, it was worse.

Jaro was crouched behind a rock with his gun at the ready and an empty shell laying on the ground. I looked out into the distance and saw a man laying dead on the ground. He saw us coming and said, "Is there anything else you want sir?"
The important thing, is to keep the important thing the important thing.
-Albert Einstein
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APenForYourThoughts
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Re: A short story would, would really appreciate feedback and constructive criticism

[ Edited ]
I kind of like the macabre little comment from Jaro at the end (assuming I'm understanding this story correctly and that comment was meant to sound that way).
Suggestion time!
*You probably don't want me to tell you about grammar, but I'm rather obsessive-compulsive when it comes to punctuation, capitalization, etc., and there are quite a few errors in your story. (Also, Britain is the country, while a Briton is one from Britain.)
*I would also work on (forgive the trite phrase) showing rather than telling. Don't just tell us your guide was baffled by Jaro running off; show us that. Give us descriptions of facial expressions!
*Something that turned me off automatically was when you used, "Well, back to our story now." It sounds strange with the relatively serious tone of the text before it, and it makes the story seem like it's going to be peppy and light, which I don't think was your intention.
*Finally, extend. You have a good concept. I would love to see loads more detail. The action appears a little too quickly and is gone way too quickly. Don't go crazy and describe everything exhaustively so that it's overwhelming and miserably tiring, but make it sound fuller. Don't be too hasty with it.
Other than those suggestions, I think you have a good idea, and you certainly have potential. Keep up the good work! The only way you'll continue to improve is by continuing to practice and to get constructive criticism from other people. (Disregard the fact that I'm a hypocrite in the latter respect, as I have yet to pluck up the courage to post anything on here.) I'm sure there are some writers out there who are far more experienced than I am and can offer you even more suggestions.

Message Edited by APenForYourThoughts on 07-23-2007 07:25 PM
"A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us." --Kafka
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historybuff234
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Re: A short story would, would really appreciate feedback and constructive criticism

Thanks AP, you seem to always know what to critique! You should post your things. This is weird, but it seems like I'm the only one really posting my work here. thanks for the Briton correction, I need to work on things like punctuation (never my best strength). But I always thought that my grammar was fine. Back to the story now was kind of stupid thing to put in, soemthing better would have been better. I think that we all here ahve a lot of talent, we all just need to post our work!

And you got the story right, as your post sounds. Would you like to see more things like this one?
The important thing, is to keep the important thing the important thing.
-Albert Einstein
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APenForYourThoughts
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Re: A short story would, would really appreciate feedback and constructive criticism

Definitely! I really enjoy stories like this one.
"A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us." --Kafka
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historybuff234
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Re: A short story would, would really appreciate feedback and constructive criticism

Excellent! I'll post more this afternoon! That is if I can think of any.
The important thing, is to keep the important thing the important thing.
-Albert Einstein
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historybuff234
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Re: A short story would, would really appreciate feedback and constructive criticism

Here's one of my stories from Tales from the British Empire. I hope you enjoy it and please give me some feedback on it!





Bandits on the Nile

It was a hot day on the Nile River, I am a soldier. We were told to escort a ship that was filled with a cargo of gold and diamonds. The troops in the boat were not aware that their was danger lurking behind every bank. Bandits, we thought that they were not there ,but they were. They were waiting for a ship to pass so they could rob it. We tried to be able to see them, but they were well concealed behind the sand. They were well armed, and very dangerous. They would not take many prisoners.

We steamed on, when suddenly we heard a shot. Our man on the wheel went down, he was killed instantly. I was horrified as I saw the scarlet blood gushing out of his head that held is never ending wisecracks, jokes, and observations. They opened fire on us from the rear, and we steamed on even faster. We were going at a speed at which it would be hard to turn quickly, and that was what the bandits wanted. We were unaware that there was a sandbar right ahead of us, and we could not turn at our speed. We knew that we going to hit the sandbar no matter what, so we decided to hit the sandbar right in the middle of it.

There was some hills about fifty yards away in which the other bandits were hiding. We hit the sandbar with much violence, and it made us all fall onto the oak deck worn by so much walking. After we hit the beach we heard a fierce war cry that would strike fear into the most hardened veteran and then they charged at us. We fired back at them and about a minute after they charged a boat that was behind us charged right at us. It turns out they were part of the bandits as well. That boat came steaming at us very quickly, and it was going to ram us. Its bow was made of iron and it was now going even faster. Soon it was very close to us, it was going to ram us. But the captain was not very skilled and missed us and hit the sandbar. He missed only by a few feet. About twenty bandits jumped on to our boat and we had to fight them with bayonets, knifes, swords, and machetes. We were all new soldiers, fresh from England and we were completely new to this savage new art of combat. The most savage part of it was the hand to hand combat, we were up close, and personal. We could see them and look right into their eyes, they showed not fear, but a want for money and blood. They screamed in bad English, "Surrender Englishmen! Surrender or die!"
We did not surrender but fought on, we shot everyone of them on the boats, and the ones on land retreated behind the hills.

The battle was over, we had begun with thirty soldiers, fifteen crew, and five Arabs. We had taken out of the thirty soldiers two wounded and three dead. Out of the crew and Arabs, one crew member had been killed and none of the Arabs had died or been wounded. Oddly enough the Arabs fought the fiercest. Everyone one of the crew that was not required to do a job was fighting along side us. The Arabs also fought along side us also, they fought very fiercely.

I walked over to the captain and asked him, "Where is the nearest town?"

He replied, "Well the nearest town is a mile away. Why would you care? You are not the commanding officer."

"I am the commanding officer now."

"You mean", he paused, "you mean Albert is dead."

"Yes, he was right up in the front, fighting off the bandits by himself until we ran to help him. He was knocked over, and they finished him off."

"I am so sorry, I always knew that you two were good friends. I and him were good friends also, he often went up to Cairo on my boat when he was on furlough. He was always so easy to get along with. I remember, one day when there was a leak in the boat, it wasn't bad. But the men grumbled about having to throw the water out with buckets, and he came up and cheered us all up. After that there was no more grumbling from here to Cairo."
"
Yes, he was inspiration to all of the men. Anyway is there a road to the town?"

"Yes, according to the map there is. Most of the bandits live there I think, I wouldn't go their if I were you. They would probably attack you".

"I don't think there will be any trouble. Because I have a plan, here is what we do. We send two of the Arabs to go into the town and they day that they are boarding a ship tonight when it passes. It is a ship that is filled with gold and much wealth, and there are no troops on it except a tired officer on furlough. They will go to the spot tonight and wait for it. It will never come and we will attack the town, while we are in there we will capture any bandits their, and we will take their camels. And load up the camels with the gold and things they have taken from other ships. After that we will burn down the rest of the town, after we put the gold on the steamer. We steam away."

The captain interrupted me while I was going to continue, "Your plan sounds pretty stupid!"

"Stupid, sir you must be very wrong. What is wrong with my plan?"

"Well sir, what will happen if the bandits go to this spot later? And, your plan is to bold to work!"

"I do not know about what would happen. But sir, have you not read the quote by Ovid, ' The Gods favor the bold.'?"

"No sir I was never much for the ancients, and we are not pagans!"

"I know, I just wanted to say something."

"What about if the bamdits return here to our beached boat?"

"Well, my men can defend it. If we work hard, and put some thought into it we should be able to move the boat out of the sandbar."

"I don't believe it! That will never work!"

"Sir, would you have any ropes and pulleys aboard?"

"Yes, we always carry them."

"Good, my men will position them in the correct spots, and we will get this steamer free."

"All right but my men will help also. I do have a question though, what will we do with the bandits boat?"

"Ah yes, I am not sure. I would think that we should set fire to that as well."

"How long do you think it will take?"

"I am not sure."

After that we put the ropes and pulleys into position and began to pull. We pulled very hard and it was back breaking work. And the sun beating down on us only made it worse. After a lot of effort we finally were able to move the boat out. It is an odd feeling sweating terribly and being completely soaked, but then being completely soaked from the water.

Then the matter of sending our Arabs into the town. They decided to go into the town during the day instead of the night. They began moving into the desert, they were visiting relatives in the upper Nile area was their cover story.

No one ever would have thought that they would have played an important part in our plan. They were some of the bravest men I have ever seen, they were even braver then some of our new recruits. Anyway two of them went into the town, and they appeared to be dusty travelers. Then they went into the mosque to pray and find someone to help spread the rumor. The picked a loud mouthed merchant. After prayer they went into a restaurant to get something to eat and spread the rumor more. After around two hours they walked outside and they turned the corner and two men were leaning up against the wall. One of them pulled a large Arab knife out on them and the other pulled out a revolver and one said, "Don't move outsiders! you are going to show us where the spot is where that boat is going to be. Or else!"

Then the two men told them where and they were led to the large inn. And when they went in the inn and there were about sixty armed bandits waiting. They were a bunch of rough, dusty men waiting for the signal to attack. The one of the hostage takers said, "We have a ship to attack tonight. These are our hostages and they will show us where the spot is."

Then the bandits gave out a loud cry and they went outside led by the hostages (who were on tide up on long ropes) . When the hostage brought them to the spot the bandits put stakes in the ground to tie them up. They waited, and they all hid behind the sand bakes.

Meanwhile, we had moved inland to attack the town. It was a hard trek, for the desert is one of the most inhospitable places both night and day. I remember one of my men saying that he would have rather been in the terrible heat of India now rather than the biting cold of the desert. During the day the sun beats down with extreme intensity and during the night it becomes so cold that it reminds me of England during winter. We trekked through the desert during the intense cold of the night. After about twenty minutes we saw the light of the town. I sent scouts out to find out more about the town. The men came back and we made a basic map of the town. We found out that most of the little bit of men left were in the inn having tea. We decided to move in and attack immediately. I sent two men with explosives to go where the arms were kept and blow it up.

We all moved into the town silently that cold night in Egypt. No own ever knew that we were there, until an man with a revolver came to the well. He saw us and quickly reached for his gun we shot him first. Then the alarm was given, someone was in the town. We moved into the inn quickly and shot the men there. We waited for the explosion, but it never came. I knew something had gone wrong.

I took a man with me to see what happened. When we got to the armory we couldn't find the men. Suddenly the door to the armory opened and one of my men with a bullet in the chest fell out and said with his last breath, "Help, McPhereson! He's in there still with that barbaric bandit!" I ran in and discovered McPhereson wrestling with a strong Arab it seemed like McPhereson didn't have a chance. But then I aimed my Enfield and blew the Arab off the brave soldier. McPhereson showed a sign of gratitude and said, "Well thanks a lot! I had that bandit right where I wanted him. Thanks anyway! Right, now let's get out of here before that stick of dynamite explodes."

We all ran out and the little stone building exploded with much force and violence. The sound of the explosion awoke and awakened anyone else who wasn't already aware of the presence of the British soldiers in the town.

The blast was heard by the bandits waiting along the banks of the Nile. They soon rushed towards us. But when they heard it they were trying to figure out what had happened and they figured out that it was a trick. Then the hostages escaped, jumped onto the camels, and rode off as fast as possible. The bandits began to fire at the brave Arabs, but they were smart and ducked down so that they were hard to hit. They eventually made it back to the town.

While the Arabs were ridding back to the town the troops came under heavy fire from the little bit of bandits left. Soon it became clear to me that it was no longer about blowing up the town but betting out and making it back to the boat and steaming away to Cairo. We soon saw the Arabs coming back to us on camels. I ordered the men into the inn for safety and asked the Arabs where they had been. I said, "Where have you been?"

"We were taken hostage by the bandits and forced to show them the spot where the boat would be. They heard the blast and figured out what had happened. We jumped on their camels and road back here. They have a stable if you want to try and reach it we can show you where it is."

"Yes, we will go to it. Are there enough horses and camels for all of my men and you?"

"Yes, there are. Quickly we must leave now for the bandits will soon be upon us. "

"All right you lead us and we will cover you."
Right then the brave Arabs ran out under heavy gunfire and after a few sharp turns we were in the stables. Most of the men could ride a horse, but for those who couldn't ride they would share a horse with one who could. We all mounted and began to ride off into the night to our waiting boat. We left the bandit operation completely crippled and they still did attack boats but they thought twice before attacking a boat full of soldiers.

When we got back to Cairo the head commander there was very pleased with what I did. And he said that I helped make that spot on the Nile a safer place.

One thing I'd like to add, you will feel a rush like anything else except when in the heat of combat. And that night I felt such a rush like I never felt in my whole days of soldering
The important thing, is to keep the important thing the important thing.
-Albert Einstein
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Re: A short story would, would really appreciate feedback and constructive criticism

I think it's pretty good, historybuff! You have a good command of language.
Suggestions:
*Check for redundancy: "I ordered the men into the inn for safety and asked the Arabs where they had been. I said, 'Where have you been?'" Either lose the quote, or keep the quote and get rid of the part that tells the reader that you asked where they had been. It doesn't quite make sense to write out the question in dialogue form when it is already understood that that exact question was asked.
*Avoid being completely straightforward and cut-and-dry about things. Use some more description, and I would love to see similes and metaphors. Example: "It was a hot day on the Nile River, I am a soldier. We were told to escort a ship that was filled with a cargo of gold and diamonds. The troops in the boat were not aware that their was danger lurking behind every bank." Don't just tell us these things as if they were standard, minor details. Use sensory images. You could get very descriptive with "It was a hot day on the Nile River...", and you could describe the tension in the air or something rather than saying that "the troops in the boat were not aware that their was danger lurking behind every bank." You want the reader to experience the mystery and uncertainty and fear of the moment, and that experience is diminished if you come right out and tell them that there is danger.
*Miscellaneous grammar: "There" is a location, "their" is a possessive adjective (They held their books), and "they're" is a contraction of "they are". Make use of the semicolon; it can be great in a stylistic way and is appropriate when you wish to join two sentences without using a conjunction.
Other than that, another good story. Keep working at it!
"A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us." --Kafka