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Sink or Swim

by honeybee 

Posted: 02 April 2004
Word Count: 404
Summary: This is just a start of something that I have been working on.


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She had just finished her journey; 126 miles drive to temporarily escape her life. She had tried turning the conveyor belt off but the big red emergency stop button had failed to work. So now in Burford, a little almost mock like old village near the Cotswolds, she sat in her hotel bar with the six presumed regulars. Including a rather cute bar man who could not have been more than 18, she had actually driven there to forget about men and her other bad habits of recent. Sitting alone with her trademark glass of pinot and cigarette, she wondered what they thought she was doing there especially as she was writing in her notebook. A feeling of awkwardness was with her but yet a sense of courage and independence was guiding her through this little adventure. Over 100 mile from home but really in exactly the same position, she hoped that tomorrow would bring some kind of enlightenment. Not really sure of what her next action would be while people eyed her, a feeling of hunger was with her but her bottom felt concreted to the seat, too afraid to just step up to the bar to order food. Although all the time thinking that food was the answer, not in general but as an immediate resolve.

She treated this trip as a kind of test of her strength, to see if she could place herself in a distant area, removing anything familiar and see if she could swim. She was thinking that there was swimming potential so far but it had only been an hour. This was not the kind of place she had pictured staying, she needed a river, somewhere to reflect and find inspiration. There was a serious doubt setting in her mind that this would be feasible here, but her consolation was that there was always tomorrow to find somewhere more appropriate. The waitress suggesting that she take her order for dinner, as the kitchen would be closing shortly interrupted this moment of reflection. This solving the problem of her super-glued bottom, which in turn brought the realisation that she was possibly only paddling at the moment. She thought that if all this appeared to be a waste of time, she was sure she could find something to take from the experience, even if it was to know that her little car could go the distance, if not herů







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Comments by other Members



Nell at 18:42 on 02 April 2004  Report this post
Hi honeybee,
This is a short piece, the start of a short story, but it's difficult to comment on that aspect of the writing as I guess it's unfinished.

I'm intrigued by the conveyor belt and what happened, it seems your narrator is in the midst of some sort of crisis, and I want to read on and find out what happens to her.

I think the writing would benefit if you looked carefully at your use of adjectives:
little almost mock like old village near the Cotswolds - you could happily lose a few here, or alternatively find another way to describe the village, maybe picturesque although not exactly right would serve? Even better, come up with a new way to put across your narrator's impression of it. Sometimes these descriptions take a lot of thought, and I've been scratching my head for five minutes over this one, but it can be done. 'So now in Burford, a village so picturesque she wondered if it might be a film set...' Just an idea.

She sat in her hotel bar with the six presumed regulars. I don't think you need 'presumed' here, it dilutes the writing, and we don't really need to know that.

Not really sure of what her next action would be while people eyed her, a feeling of hunger was with her but her bottom felt concreted to the seat, too afraid to just step up to the bar to order food.

I love the bit about her bottom feeling concreted to the seat - a marvellous image - but you need a full stop after seat and a readjustment of the sentences, as it sounds at the moment as if her bottom was too afraid to step up to the bar.
All the above sounds very harsh I know, but you have a really good start to an intriguing story here, it just needs a little work. I find that it helps to print out and read aloud, punctuation becomes easier to place, and awkward sentences show up and can be made to read more smoothly.

Best, Nell.

swandale at 10:41 on 03 April 2004  Report this post
Honeybee,

This is an intriguing piece, it fires lots of questions in my mind - what is she running away from? what does she expect to find? It makes me want to read more.

I think some of the sentences would benefit from being split up. For example,
Including a rather cute bar man who could not have been more than 18, she had actually driven there to forget about men and her other bad habits of recent.
would sound better split in to two, with a full stop after 18. Of course, this is only my opinion!

Great content, though, and it has lots of hooks to get people interested.

Sam


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