A Short Story

Chitter-Box-Kat 05-27-2006 12:38 AM
I read an old Greek myth about these two guys named Damon and Pythias. They were really good friends and saved each others live and junk. (You don't need to know the myth to get the references in the story, but it helps.) And I remember seeing this picture on fanart-central with these two guys laying on a grassy hill. I put two and two together and came up with a half-way decent short story I called "Twilight Summer". It's three standard printer pages long and was completed in about three days.

I like getting opinions on the things I write (just like with my drawings) so I'm going to post the story piece by piece. I want your honest opinion so I can improve my writting skills. It would mean alot to me. But I digress. Here's the first five paragraphs AND NO STEALING!! Mad

Twilight Summer

It was the middle of July. When days are warm, nights are cool, and everything gets sleepy. The day was almost over, in a quiet time between evening and night known as twilight. The sky was a shade of blue mixed with purple that no artist, living or dead, could capture perfectly.
Two young men, sixteen and seventeen repectively, were lying on a grassy hill, staring at the sky. The one to the left was Aspen Delano, or if you were twenty and younger, Pythias. His hair was brown-blonde and wavy, reachng just down to his shoulders. His blue-grey eyes were admired by many girls in town, and currently his skin had a tan that made him seem just a little exotic. In this twilight, he wore a light blue shirt, denim jeans and a pair of worn sandles. He was sixteen.
The man to the right was Thrace Elmani, better known as Damon in the twenty and younger crowd. His hair was brown, spiked, and tipped with bright blue. Under the twilight sky, he wore a red shirt, blue denim shorts, and an old pair of biker boots he found in a thrift shop. He was seventeen.
Everybody in their town, Clovira, knew the two to be inseperable. They had been friends since they were little, and thier bond had grown stronger as they got older. When the story of Damon and Pythias had been read in English class in the eigth grade, Thrace and Aspen had been nicknamed such. The names stuck like dried gum to the bottom of a table. But let's get back to the present.
Aspen looked at Thrace from the corner of his eye. How often they would come out to the hills like this in the summer. A sort of world in a world where the two of them could be left in peace and quiet. "Thrace, " he called.

And those are the first five paragraphs. Whaddaya think? Good? Bad? Needs improvment? Rate it any way you please. I'll be waiting for responses!
The Fallen Phoenix 05-27-2006 01:04 AM
I'd like to see more of it before I make any real commentary; I think it's just too small a sample size to really make any comments that (in my mind) would be useful.

Nevertheless, thoughts that I have had thus far:

First, there are a few (minor) typographical errors that I caught. Those aren't really too important, but I thought they were worth mentioning.

Second, I'm not a big fan of the use of second-person thus far; I just felt like it was used a little unprofessionally. ("But let's get back to the present" and "if you were..." are the two examples that really stuck out to me, and not in a good way.) This, however, seems to be something that would come down to preference, and might not be too bad if it is indicative of a consistent style. This is why I say I would much rather read more of it, to judge if that is indeed the case.

Third, a few suggestions with word choice/sentence structure: I would probably merge the first two sentences, but that's entirely writer's preference. I would most certainly change "a" in "in a quiet time..." (third sentence) to "that". When reading the fourth sentence, I wonder what shade of blue, exactly, the sky is. Now, I recognize this is idiomatic, but I, as the reader, was still left wanting more detail.

Fourth, notes on the second (and third) paragraph. I notice some superfluous repetition: I would cut the "sixteen and seventeen respectively" from the first sentence of the second paragraph, since you later indicate the ages of the two boys. I think ending both paragraphs with the age of the boy you were describing was a nice touch, but that is unnecessary since you already introduced the ages of the boys (in the order you introduce them).

I feel as if the word twilight (while being a word I adore) was used too liberally, and too ineffectively. I know I am guilty of repetition as well, but I am not entirely sure the repetition in this case was effective--either thematically, stylistically, or even to provide emphasis. Now, you can tweak the use of the word twilight in the second and third paragraphs to have a nice parallel (in both cases use "under the twilight sky")--I think that would be nice, and possibly more effective. You do not necessarily have to cut down on how many times you use the word twilight, but I think you do need to place it better and more effectively.

I'm left gasping for details in the second to last paragraph. There are just a few things that are unclear. How did the two boys' bond grow stronger as they grew older? Who nicknamed Thrace and Aspen Damon and Pythias? Did they nickname each other that, or did their classmates christen them? I don't know why, but that paragraph just feels...lacking to me.

The sentence "[a] sort of world...peace and quiet" bothers me for some reason; it could be the repetition of world at the beginning of that sentence.

Although time has been established very well, there are still a few questions I'm left with in regards to setting. Where is this taking place, exactly (although this might not really matter much, I'd have to read more of the story to know for sure)? A hill in the summer, obviously...but are these hills far from where they live? Do these boys live in a city, a town, in the countryside?

I like the metaphors and similies used (the dried gum one in particular); they are simple, but effective.

...I know a lot of that was nitpcking, but...what can I say, I like to nitpick. I cannot give the story a definitive rating yet because, as I've mentioned time and again, I really do need to read more of it. There is really too little here to make a proper judgment one way or the other.
Chitter-Box-Kat 05-27-2006 02:38 PM
RE: Th Fallen Phoenix

I got to admit, nitpicking is sort of fun. Honestly, I started this story on a whim with NO IDEA where I was going with it. But that's how...just about all my written works start... Tongue Personaly, I hate doing detail work. I'm better at dialogues and drawing my characters. Embarrassed Sweatdrop And as far as the nicknames go, it was on behalf of their classmates.
But I'm leaning away from the purpose of this thread. I'm going to start at the last paragraph I stopped at and go through the dialogue and the next four paragraphs.

Twilight Summer (continued)

Aspen looked at Thrace out of the corner of his eye. How often they would come out to the hills like this in the summer. A sort of world in a world where the two could be left in peace and quiet. "Thrace," he called.
"Yeah?"
"How long have we done stuff this?"
"Hell if I know." Aspen smiles.
"Aspen yawns and rubs his eyes with the heel of his hand.
"Tired?" Asks Thrace.
"A little."
Thrace sits up. He looks at Aspen and smirks. "I'll take you home."
The two stand. Aspen wraps a hand around Thrace's shoulder while Thrace gets an arm around his waist. They begin to walk to Aspen;s ouse like this, thier footsteps echoing in the silence. Abiut half-way through the trek, Aspen starts wobbling. He yawns again. Without saying anything, Thrce picks up Aspen piggy-back style and carries him the rest of the way. By the time he gets to Aspen's house, said man is fast a sleep.
thrace kicks the door softly enough not to damageso he doesn't damage the wood work, but loud enough to be heard. A kind looking woman opens the door. Kirsten Dealano, Aspen's mother. She sees her son snoozing and smiles in a way only mothers can. "Fell asleep again. Well, you know where his rom is." She stands aside and lets Thrce in.
"Thanks Mrs. D." Thrace walks over to the stairs and sees Patricia, Aspen's younger sister. "Hey Pat."
Patricia sticks her toungue out at Thrace. "Bro fell asleep again, eh Damon?"
Thrace walks up the steps."Yup." When he reaches the top, he turns left and stops at the second doorway to the left. He enters the room and reaches the bed. Gently, he lays Aspen down and covers him with the blanket. Then he turns on the bedside lamp and pauses on the way out the door only to brush a few strands of hair out of Aspen's face.

I made changes while typing all of that. Little ones here and there, but they were still changes. Opinions, suggestions, I'll take anything you're willing to offer.
Nine Kuze 05-30-2006 02:26 PM
Just read the first two samples (I guess the first two gets the reader hooked, and then you start charging right?) and it has a decent start for the relationship between two best friends. For my own amusement and reading pleasure, I hope that more characters are introduced and we get to see how the boys' relationship effects other people around them as well.

For what FP said before, I agree with the majority of it to a certain degree. The spelling needs to be cleaned up for the sake of clarity, and many sentences could have been merged together and edited for a better flow as far as storytelling goes.

quote:
Second, I'm not a big fan of the use of second-person thus far; I just felt like it was used a little unprofessionally.

I have to agree with this as well. On the reader's point of view, the first two samples haven't really delivered an honest notion with the second-person. I would like to see some use the first-person approached to see how the two boys react to each other first hand through their own eyes.

quote:
I feel as if the word twilight (while being a word I adore) was used too liberally, and too ineffectively.

Um, true that the repetition of the word kind of weakens it, I liked one of the first sentence that she wrote;
quote:
The day was almost over, in a quiet time between evening and night known as twilight.

That sentence gave me a very thought out picture of that point in time in the story.

Mostly, its straight out right now. But I too am left wanting more and hoping that the story and the characters get more flushed out as well.
Peace.
Chitter-Box-Kat 05-30-2006 03:24 PM
I've never been one to really stress out over details. I don't think I was really thinking when I was writting the story...Anywho, I don't have the story with me right now, but I promise to get the next couple of paragraphs up later today. Ciao-mein!