Once upon a time…

My holiday short story anthology, Silver Dreidels, is finally available on Amazon. Here’s the link. ..http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00TG019R8

My snippet is from an as yet untitled story. I need to have it written by May. Any feedback would be appreciated because this is really raw. Some of you may have seen this story before, but in its original form, it wasn’t going anywhere, so I recycled. Once again, I apologize for not being around. As usual, real life gets to me so I have to take a break. I have to take everything one minute at a time. Once upon a time, there was a young lady named Malia Crabtree. She grew up on the boat docks in the small New England town of Morganville, Maine. When her father left, her mother didn’t take it very well. She always had a new boyfriend in the house, and she thought each one was her prince. Unfortunately, it took forever for the handsome prince to whisk Malia and her mom away to his castle. And then he passed on, leaving his newspaper empire to Malia’s mother. Regina Crabtree Woodward didn’t know much about running a newspaper, but she took over and learned as she went. One thing she did was enforce a strict No Employee Dating policy. Then she hired her daughter, fresh out of journalism school, to be editor. She later promoted her to managing editor.

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23 responses to “Once upon a time…

  1. Gem

    I like the flat, unemotional narration. It actually paints a vivid background.

  2. Interesting, Nancy—a little different from your usual, but effective!

    (Nice to have you back! 🙂 )

  3. chellecordero

    I like the narrative, drew me right in. The very last sentence though sounded a bit disconnected. Perhaps a little different wording might make it flow smoother. (just a suggestion? “Then she hired her daughter, fresh out of journalism school, to be editor, later promoting her to managing editor.”) Overall a great snippet.

  4. Intriguing beginning. I also like Chelle’s suggestion.

  5. Interesting. I’m assuming this is the opening. Definitely makes me want to keep reading. I agree, it’s a bit flat, so I’m immediately wondering where it’s going. Feels like it’s leading up to something and I want to know what it is. Great excerpt.

  6. That’s a lot of time going by in very little sentences. It totally reads like a fairy tale.

  7. This read more like a summary to me, but it is a great way to get to the heart of the story. I might slow it down a tiny bit, but not much, I have feeling that what comes next is what we really what to know and read about, and the quicker we get there the better in my opinion. 🙂

  8. Thanks, Linda–that’s what I’m going for.

  9. siobhanmuir

    This seems like a lot of backstory, Nancy, that isn’t really needed for the reader or could be parsed in later. You might think of how this information pertains to the action/life happening right now so the reader doesn’t feel like they’re being told how the story is going to go. How does growing up on the docks affect what she’s doing now and her interaction with her daughter? How does the parade of men in her mother’s life affect how she deals with men and mother figures now? Rather than telling us where she came from, you might want to give us a sense of how the past affects the present and show us in her actions/responses to others. Good luck with your deadline. 🙂

  10. I agree with Siobhan’s comment. Other’s have mentioned that this is a bit flat and reads like a summary. While this is a good way to wrap-up things before diving into the action, it also means that the reader’s left wondering why they should care about all that information. We don’t know how that relates to the main character’s goals and challenges. I recommend reducing this “telling” intro to what relates directly to the action of your opening scene and parse the rest in as it becomes relevant (like Siobhan suggested).

  11. Nice work. The neutral narration style lets the story itself come through.

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