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Contributor
dorie
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎08-03-2007
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My writing

Below is an example of my writing. I am trying to write so that the reader feels he/she is in the same place as the character. I would appreciate any opinions. Thanks, Emma Franklin Ward

A DAY OF RECKONING

She stands against the stove, grasping its corner. Her eyes are open wide, she looks frightened To her ashen pallor, there is a tinge of yellow, she is very ill. The only thing holding her up is the stove. She cannot move. She is dressed in a pair of light blue polyester pants and a short sleeved matching floral top, a rummage sale purchase. Her steel gray hair is tightly curled against her scalp, she wears no makeup. Rimless glasses sit high on her nose.
Lindy Johanson lives in the Towers, a residence for senior citizens in a small city in North Dakota. The Towers had been built facing east and west. Apparently no thought had been given to the savagery of the sun on the northern prairie, for in the morning, with no hills or trees to block its light and heat, the little apartments facing east become ablaze the moment the sun clears to horizon. By noon, even though blinds are drawn in some effort to subdue the solar star’s onslaught, the apartments feel suffocating and dull as if all energy had been sucked away by the hours of sunlight. In the afternoon the apartments facing west bare the unrelenting misery until the sun drops beyond the horizon. Lindy lives on the west side.
Lindy’s living room and kitchen are combined. At the west end of the room is the large picture window and to the left sits a well worn brown sofa with the yellow and blue Swedish flag nailed on the wall above it. There are no other adornments on the stark white walls. Auggie’s chair sits angled next to the sofa. Across from the sofa is a small television and a battered rocker. On the TV are pictures of Lindy and Auggie’s Johanson’s grandchildren. The kitchen, at the other end of the room, contains a small sink, stove, refrigerator and enough room for a tiny dinette and two chairs. Most of the Johanson’s meals are taken in the Tower’s main dining room. Off the living room, a tiny hall leads to two bedrooms. The bedrooms are sparse, one for her and one for Auggie. Blankets that serve as their bedspreads are neatly tucked in. Each room has a small dresser.
In the bathroom Lindy’s hand washed girdles of elastic and rubber lay drying over the sink and the bath tub. They are large ones that cover her breasts and terminate just above her knees, Lindy never leaves her apartment without her girdle on; she must redeem some semblance of her once classic figure. Lindy sees herself in competition with the other women who reside in the Towers. With her girdle on, her breast hang higher on her chest, even somewhat taut, and the outline of her waist bends inward and obvious. She will not be like the widows who sit slumped in their chairs with their multiple chins resting on their upper chest and their breasts and stomach combining into one large mass that reaches from their sagging chins to between their heavy legs. She knows they are jealous of her looking so good and still having her husband alone. She girds herself in, pulling close all that belongs to her; the world cannot and will not see the reality of her life. She herself refuses to look at it, that is until now.
It is two o’clock in the afternoon and already the heat of the summer sun has made the room unbearable. The ghastly light affects the room; it is much uglier, too much for the senses, a room where all is seen, every speck of dust, scratches and marks on furniture, ragged strands of fiber from the brown rug and the gray, ill woman standing in the kitchen. Nothing is hidden, nothing will be contrived today, all will be laid stunningly bare. This little space is her stage where she will deliver the soliloquy of her life, deliberating the whys and why nots as all humans do from time to time.
I am her audience, an audience who is to remain circumspect and silent; there is no need for interjections she will come to her own conclusions.
Emma
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Rayek
Posts: 62
Registered: ‎07-04-2007
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Re: My writing

Ok, this is just my opinion and I am by no means an expert or even an amateur critic, just an avid reader. So my first impressions are as follows:


Interesting. But I am a little confused on the viewpoint. Should we be seeing that much into the mind of Lindy, if we are "just a visitor"? The first two paragraphs were very descriptive of her apartment and building. Good descriptions, but do they add to the overall story.
I'd like to see more, to see how it unfolds. So, you have me interested, and hooking a reader is key!
Keep up the good work :smileyhappy:
Peace
Don't worry spiders
I keep house
casually--Issa
Frequent Contributor
APenForYourThoughts
Posts: 394
Registered: ‎06-22-2007
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Re: My writing

First of all, good job! I normally don't like present tense in writing, but that was quite good. Just a few comments and suggestions.

"She stands against the stove, grasping its corner. Her eyes are open wide, she looks frightened To her ashen pallor, there is a tinge of yellow, she is very ill. The only thing holding her up is the stove. She cannot move. She is dressed in a pair of light blue polyester pants and a short sleeved matching floral top, a rummage sale purchase. Her steel gray hair is tightly curled against her scalp, she wears no makeup. Rimless glasses sit high on her nose."

In comparison with the rest of the story, this paragraph seems curt and choppy. Try using some semicolons or conjunctions to make it flow better.

"It is two o’clock in the afternoon and already the heat of the summer sun has made the room unbearable. The ghastly light affects the room; it is much uglier, too much for the senses, a room where all is seen, every speck of dust, scratches and marks on furniture, ragged strands of fiber from the brown rug and the gray, ill woman standing in the kitchen. Nothing is hidden, nothing will be contrived today, all will be laid stunningly bare. This little space is her stage where she will deliver the soliloquy of her life, deliberating the whys and why nots as all humans do from time to time."

I LOVE the above paragraph. Very beautiful.

"I am her audience, an audience who is to remain circumspect and silent; there is no need for interjections she will come to her own conclusions."

I agree with Rayek on this one; if someone is merely watching her, how do we know the inner workings of Lindy's mind?

Great job! Keep it up! Even despite the suggestions for improvement, I think you obviously have talent. :smileyhappy:
"A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us." --Kafka
Contributor
dorie
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎08-03-2007
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Re: My writing

Thank you so much for your suggestions and taking time to read my work. The view point I am writing from is one of a visitor sitting in the living room. Perhaps I can post the rest of the story and it will become clearer. However, I will change the first paragraph. Thanks again. Emma Franklin Ward
Emma