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Old 07-25-2018, 03:26 PM View Post #1 (Link) Trouble-seeker
santiesther (Offline)
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Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Seattle, Washington
Posts: 6
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Another short story - kinda rough, written quickly, but edits are appreciated.

Maybe your parents were right. Maybe it wasn’t the best idea to walk all the way here, alone, right before dark, I thought as I pulled my hood over my head and tightened the strings.
It was only about a mile both ways, so really, it was extremely minimal time on the road, even if that road wasn’t exactly the best area in the world. Why can’t we have a drugstore in the better area of the city? Why does it have to be all the way out here? I tucked my hair into my hood, trying to make myself look as boyish as possible. Or maybe looking shady just made me more prone to being approached by other shady kids - that’s what my dad told me.
You’re always looking for trouble, you know. My mother had said, shaking her head as I insisted on walking all the way across the city for a small errand this late at night. I know you think you’re all tough, but one day it’s gonna bite you in the-
Snap. The breaking of a twig a few hundred feet ahead. I stopped in my tracks as I saw a few figures standing off to the side of the road. As they turned, I snapped out of it and started moving again. As I got closer, my heart sank. I knew I’d see these guys at some time or another.
As I approached them, I thought about my mom’s words over and over again. Don’t go looking for trouble.
Even if they swing first? Another voice in my head joined the discussion.
No, not even if they swing first.
But you know that if they hit first, they’ll get charged with the assault. Especially because there’s three of the and one of you. Three guys against a girl? You’ve got every advantage you could ever ask for. You could do anything you want to them, and you know you want to hurt them. You know what those kids did to your sister. You’re not gonna be able to stop yourself if they even lay -
A hand grabbed my arm. I whipped around, my calm guard completely gone as adrenaline filled my body.
“Hey, we know you. Or maybe it’s someone who looks like you.” said a deep voice. I cursed myself out silently. Guess it still wasn’t dark enough for my face to not be visible.
“Look, I think you’ve got the wrong kid.” I responded, trying to keep my voice from shaking. “I don’t know you.” I tried to convince myself it wasn’t a lie; I’d never talked to these kids. But it was hard to pretend I didn’t know their faces. I’d memorized everything about the police sketches my sister had had drawn, and even in the dim light, I recognized one of them right now.
The shortest one, who still towered over me, snickered. He was going to say something that he knew would tick me off. Something that really made me want to -
“Well, come on then. If you don’t know us, then keep moving, it’s not like we like you standing here And sweetie-” He looked me up and down judgmentally. “Don’t blame yourself. It wasn’t your fault for assuming your older sister could take care of herself, now is it?”
I felt a pang of anger. Before my better judgment could kick in, my mouth took over. “You think you’re so cool, don’t you? Because you go around here and you just screw everyone up.”
“Not cooler, necessarily.” The shortest one continued. “We just have the most fun in this whole preppy, stuck-up place.”
“Preppy, yeah. That’s why you shouldn’t stick around here. This place is for people who know how to act.” I hissed back.
The shortest one moved to the center of the three. “Well, if you think you own this place, do something about it.”
“I don’t own anything. And neither do you.”
And then came the first punch. As soon as he swung left and clipped me in the jaw, I realized I didn’t take into account that after being punched once in the face, you’re not jumping for joy realizing that the lawsuit is now yours.
I dropped my grocery bag on the ground and took a hard swing back. I missed, barely grazing him in the ear. The group chuckled, and I tasted blood in my mouth. I’d bitten my cheek.
I swung again, and hooked him in the nose this time. Now it was his turn to spit blood on the ground. He looked back at me, but he didn’t look scared. It was a terrifying look of anger and almost amusement.
“For people who know how to act, huh?” He said. His nose was bleeding. “Guess you and your sister don’t belong here. People who know how to act can hopefully defend themselves, hmm?” My fist clenched again, but at the last second, I changed my mind. Grabbing my bag off the ground, I took off running.
I heard jeers and yells behind me, but I didn’t stop running until I got home.
“So yeah, maybe it wasn’t the best idea.” I admitted to my mother as I lay on the couch with an ice pack on my face.
She was silent still. My heart sank as I realized how angry she probably was, but knew in my heart she’d get over it eventually. This wasn’t the first stupid thing I’d done, especially since Sadie.
Finally, she spoke. “You know those kids weren’t your problem, Jossy.” Her voice was level, and I was surprised to realize she didn't even sound upset. She sounded more like she was expecting this, like this was a lesson she had rehearsed. “You have to learn to stay in your lane.”
She’s right, said a voice in my head as I adjusted my ice pack so I could respond.
Those kids put this mess in your lane the second they messed with your sister.
“It’s not my problem anymore.” I said out loud. “Those kids can shape up on their own without me having to beat them up.”
“That’s the attitude.” My mother said soothingly, wiping my face with a wet towel again.
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Old 07-29-2018, 06:11 AM View Post #2 (Link) Critique
Kswizzieq1 (Offline)
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Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 3
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-Maybe your parents were right. - replace the "your" with "my"

-I tucked my hair into my hood, trying to make myself look as boyish as possible. -- love love love this! Her inner monologue with this little bit of imagery shows so much of her character and I'm here for it.

-Snap -- Shook

-The shortest one, who still towered over me, snickered. -- the way you describe the characters is phenomenal. The descriptions are very quick and punchy, but it works since the story is so short.

-He looked me up and down judgmentally. -- I think you could make this stronger. Instead of using the adverb try to use concrete details like, 'the sneer in his lips,' or 'crossed eyebrows.' That way I can get a true feel of him instead of having to guess what his judgemental face looks like.

-“For people who know how to act, huh?” He said. His nose was bleeding. “Guess you and your sister don’t belong here. People who know how to act can hopefully defend themselves, hmm?” -- This isn't really a critique per se, it's more of an idea. These boys are acting up because this suburban society has them conforming to this "preppiness" (or at least that's what I got from the bits of dialogue before the fight). The girl attacks them by saying they don't belong in this neighborhood and he retaliates by saying you don't either because you can't defend yourself, but I feel like that falls flat to the theme of injustice you have going on. Wouldn't it make more sense if he says she doesn't belong because she's stooped down to his level by fighting? Idk I feel like that would work better bc the defense thing threw me off. That's just my 2 cents tho.

-She sounded more like she was expecting this, like this was a lesson she had rehearsed. -- I love this! You can tell so much about the MC's mother by these 2 lines. She's protective, she has a bit of an ego, and I love it.

-“That’s the attitude.” My mother said soothingly, wiping my face with a wet towel again. -- The story is amazing and at the end, I don't find myself agreeing with the Main Character. I get the stuff about her sister, but the way she and her mom talk about the boys and the way the boys talk about themselves makes something sit a little wrong in my stomach. Idk if you intended it to be that way, but that's what I got.

General Feedback:

-The story is great. Nice character descriptions and well-rounded characters
-Remember to use concrete descriptive details.
-A theme is good to remember in short stories. Make sure you either stick with it or change it depending on what you want the story to be.
-I think you could extend this and make it longer, or even write a series of short stories within this universe!

Hope I gave you some good stuff -Ken <3
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Old 07-30-2018, 02:42 PM View Post #3 (Link) This post is a reply - don't critique it
santiesther (Offline)
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Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Seattle, Washington
Posts: 6
Points: 7.57
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Yes! A lot of these edits really helped me articulate the ideas that I had, but couldn't quite put down in writing. Thank you so much Ken, this was extremely helpful.
  
						Last edited by santiesther; 07-30-2018 at 02:51 PM.
					
					 Reason: typo
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