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So, I wrote a short story, I wondered if 7Chan's /lit/izens would like to read it.
The ending reveal of the content of the "message" was so predictable I almost guessed it verbatim, but otherwise it was a very enjoyable short story.
Only gripe I have is that it was a little TOO perfectly wrapped up at the end. There was no sense of wanting to continue to get to know the characters or the world; there was no bonus content to hint at a larger story just outside this one. I guess what I'm saying is that I wasn't left craving more from you. It was "Eh, nice story. Moving on now." Not sure exactly what you could do to improve that; it's just an observation.
good story but the ending was pretty weak
I think the ending was kind of poetic because it was so simple.
All of the things in my head kind of fell apart when it ended, and I was happy for it.
You're actually good at writing, but the story is ruined by the forced and trite high concept. Far too much time spent explaining the inanities of this device, far too little in interaction between your characters. Do we really need to know that the device is like a phone, but also can send messages through time, and heres why it can do that, and blah fucking blah. Just mention (with one or two sentences maximum) that there is a device where people can send a single message to themselves back in time. Any more is pointless and in fact detrimental to the story.
And spend more time having your characters interact. You clearly have a talent for blocking and dialog. Focus on that.
And for fucks sake, the message needs to say, "Would you like to go out with me?". Then, the girl reads it and agrees.
The entire purpose of the story would be ruined if it said that.
That was really good, OP.
It was a good story. I enjoyed it.
Wouldn't the peoples future selves remember getting jack squat in the lottery?
It's like if one day the newest iPhone had the option to send a message back to the iPhone 1. These are the consequences of that.
Nice idea, but there are a few things that didn't work for me:
* I think the dialogue between Henry and Georgia was a bit unnatural. These people barely know each other, yet they quickly get into having long, philosophical, personal conversations. Most talks people have with strangers tend to be shy and terse. There are ways to get natural yet insightful remarks out of people (the way they respond to other people's messages is a good way), but it is easy to over do it.
* The exposition on the device. If someone built a super machine for public use, the marketing department would have given it a snazzy, techno name of some sort. Imagine what Dell or Apple would have called it. Just have the character admit that they don't know much about how it works, and succinctly describe what it does.
* There could be a better message for Henry. Even lottery numbers would have worked better for the story. This one just makes Henry sound kind of soppy and boring.
I caved and changed the message at the end and his reaction. What do you guys think?
Sorry, still too maudlin for me.
How about "Ask that girl out, or you'll regret it"? Or how about something really cryptic; like "stop gnawing those bics". It's as much about the protagonist's reaction as it is about the message, so the protagonist could see the bic message, and resolve to just put it out of his mind rather than worry about it.
I really think you're missing the point of his story. The message is supposed to relieve you of fear of the future, to teach you to live in the moment. If it told him to do something it would go against that very simple message.
>The message is supposed to relieve you of fear of the future, to teach you to live in the moment.
"It was all worth it."
It tells Henry not to worry without that unnecessary sugary coating you're trying to include. For all we know Henry could be the first President of Earth or he could be a plague-ridden and destitute homeless man. We don't know, what we do know is what happened in-between was awesome.
But that lesson could be learnt any other way, and you can teach us it without explicitly telling us the moral of the story (which should be self-evident). The message could be all doom and hellfire, but having seen everyone else fret, the protagonist decides to throw away the note away, shrug his shoulders and go on to ask the girl what she's doing later. That would say the moral just as well.
Also, and this is from personal experience, "live in the moment" and "don't worry about the future" aren't particularly good pieces of advice. I suppose that's a personal issue though.
Just bumpin' your work. I'm using it to identify flaws in my own writing style. Not that yours is bad, rather, by contrast it makes it easier to find my own failings.
That was really good! It was clunky at the beginning but smoothed out pretty quickly.
Not bad but not good either.
I have little interest in reading the entire story, but I believe that what I read was pretty bad. I just have a few points that I think I should make.
>A November breeze swept over Henry and he instinctively held a paper cup full of warm coffee just a bit closer to his chest.
I believe that this sentence would be more effective if the order was reversed. What I mean is that you should mention first that he held the coffee closer to his chest and then mention the November breeze.
Also in this instance, it is better to say that he moved the coffee cup or something, rather than to say that he held the coffee cup.
>He had been standing in line for nearly twelve hours along with millions of other people waiting for their messages.
Now, at this point, the reader obviously doesn't know what the fuck you're talking about. That's fine, but I think that talking about the messages here is a mistake. I see that the MC soon after has a conversation with a girl, and she mentions the messages. So why not let that part introduce the reader to the messages?
In fact, you don't even need to mention that he had been waiting in line. Show, don't tell.
And how does there exist a line of millions of people, anyway? That just doesn't even make sense.
>Morning broke slowly, and he watched beams of piercing morning light shine down the street and reflect brightly off of store windows.
I think this sentence is redundant and unnecessary. In fact, with a few minor alterations, this sentence could have been the first one. The first two sentences were not necessary at all.
What is the timeline by the end of the first paragraph? It is:
>breeze sweeps over MC and he adjusts his coffee cup
>morning breaks and MC watches light reflect off store windows
So, what, did morning break immediately after he adjusted his coffee cup? Had morning already broken by the time he adjusted his coffee cup, and you are only now informing the reader of this? Or did it occur after he adjusted the coffee cup, but also after some time had passed? Did they happen at the same time? You have to inform the reader of these things, otherwise your timeline will be a jumbled and ambiguous mess.
This is just my quick criticism of the first paragraph. I am sure there are many other flaws throughout the story. I'm not really sure what I should say broadly for you to do, but I must say that you really seem to have very little understanding of writing, so I think you have to try to understand it basically.
What stuck out to me for some reason was how often you kept calling him Henry, but there were only two main characters so I guess it's to be expected.