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  • JM Barrie commented on the post, Area 52 by JM Barrie 2 weeks ago

    Thanks Harvey. Last month was setting up for the last two stories of the year, so I’m pleased you liked this one

  • JM Barrie commented on the post, Area 52 by JM Barrie 2 weeks ago

    Hi Jane
    This month was a challenge – 500 word limit and the agents had to be free by the end. I’m pleased you enjoyed it – 1200 words to go!
    I like the image of the frozen skin stuck to pallet racking too (a bit much as Paul pointed out!) I never worked in the freezer (my product always had to stay +3 degrees or above), but those guys that did,…[Read more]

  • JM Barrie commented on the post, Area 52 by JM Barrie 2 weeks ago

    Thank you so for much for reading, and your constructive comments. I had not noticed the number of “stuck to the pallet racking” there were, despite re-reading it while editing a ridiculous amount if times. This year has shown my self-editing standard is poor, and one of the things I need to work on to improve myself as a writer – there’s always…[Read more]

  • Area 52 by JM Barrie

    #

    Griffin couldn’t stop shaking. She perched on a pallet of frozen fish fingers as she tried to coax her arms, stuck to the frozen pallet racking, free. I don’t know how much more of thi […]

    • Much better! Love the action.

      • Thanks Harvey. Last month was setting up for the last two stories of the year, so I’m pleased you liked this one

    • Jane replied 3 weeks ago

      Hi John. All I can say is THANK GOD:) They are back. Ready to wreak their vengeance. Loved this short episode. Some great imagery in here (poor Griffin leaving chunks of her skin behind – I could almost picture this). Can’t wait for the last instalment:)

      A few things that may need editing – ignore if you don’t agree:)
      They sliced her wrists restraints away. – think it needs to be wrist restraints (we know it is plural as it says restraints).
      and crash tackled the goon into the floor. – to the floor
      shot the IT man before he turned his gun on Morrison and Fox – would before turning his gun on Morrison and Fox sound better here?

      Loved it John, well done.

      • Hi Jane
        This month was a challenge – 500 word limit and the agents had to be free by the end. I’m pleased you enjoyed it – 1200 words to go!
        I like the image of the frozen skin stuck to pallet racking too (a bit much as Paul pointed out!) I never worked in the freezer (my product always had to stay +3 degrees or above), but those guys that did, never fooled around.
        Wrists should be wrist – another poor miss by me and good pick up by you, thank you.
        Turning his gun on Morrison and Fox is an excellent example of what I’ve been saying to you about staying in tense, and not slipping into present tense. If you look at every other use of tense in that paragraph it is past tense – needed, tackled, responded, etc. By staying in past tense, I have maintained the continuity in the paragraph.

    • Thank you so for much for reading, and your constructive comments. I had not noticed the number of “stuck to the pallet racking” there were, despite re-reading it while editing a ridiculous amount if times. This year has shown my self-editing standard is poor, and one of the things I need to work on to improve myself as a writer – there’s always something new to learn!
      Liv Bentley is Bentley’s wife. Her name is Olivia, but she goes by Liv. We have seen her a couple of times in the story, but she is a minor character. I’ve had this question each time the story has referred to her without her being there, which I figure is one of those things about writing a year long story under 12SS conditions.
      I suspect “flavoured milks” was an unconscious throwback to my working days in refrigerated warehouses. Because of all the different flavours, sizes, and the presence of normal milk, the logistics staff always referred to them as flavoured milks, which I guess I picked up along the way, even though milk was never my responsibility.
      I’m always happy to get a good adverb score from you. I’m not a huge fan, and they are one thing I look out for and change when editing a story. I believe that adverbs have their place, but it is a limited space. I consider Australia’s “favourite author” to be a lazy writer because his writing is littered with adverbs, ‘just’, and ‘very.’ In man ways, this year’s story is my response to him – you can write an action story without being a lazy writer

    • Hi JM,

      Nice one. Your MC is lively and one to follow.

      A few thoughts to help tighten a good submission.

      Watch out for repeats.
      Make sure this is in your list of thing to edit out once the first draft is complete.
      E.g. “stuck to the frozen pallet racking” in the first 2 paragraphs.
      Another repeat can be found in “in a chair in front…”
      It might not seem like much, but it is well worth hunting these down.

      I didn’t get the reference to “Liv Bently”.
      Should it be “Live”?

      Where you have “…for flavoured milks” should it be singular.
      I.e. “…for flavoured milk”.

      Congratulations on the low adverb count. I make it 2 and no use of “just”.
      Impressive.

      Thank you for sharing.

      Keep Writing.

      Cheers,
      Paul

    • Hey JM,

      I’m so glad your guys are kicking butt again. I also thought you did a great job with the imagery of Griffin leaving part of her arms behind. If I remember right, it wasn’t too long ago that she was telling Bentley not to relax too much? I like the way that even though you didn’t say anything (unless I missed it), it’s obvious that Griffin has become exhausted. Well done. A much better story than Mr Reilly could ever put together 😉 Can’t wait to see how it all ties up in December.

      Sue

    • Seyi replied 1 week ago

      Hey JM and how goes it? great to see the Griffin / Bentley duo back in the saddle. I always enjoy the undercurrent of humor you have running through even your most action-packed scenes. I particularly enjoyed Griffin’s mental monologue in the opener to this piece. I did think Bentley progressed pretty rapidly from being ‘slumped in his chair’ to talking back and then taking such decisive action. Clearly, he was faking it at first I am guessing? I’d also suggest you do not need the ‘snake-like’ descriptor to his spring when he tackles the first goon. I did enjoy the piece, and appreciate this twist to your very addictive storyline. All the best, and I am looking forward to the next piece. Regards, Seyi

  • Have you read Wishin’ ‘n’ a Hopin’ by Jeff L Mauser? You should read it even if you’ve read it before, and pay particular attention to his use of tense which is really good. It is set at a 40 year class reunion (tonight) and talks about events from the past.

    One sentence in particular caught my eye:

    “Stepping inside he’s surprised at how…[Read more]

  • Class reunions can bring out so many skeletons can’t they? I enjoyed the interpersonal relationships, you layered a lot of backstory in a relevant and necessary way for the story to be told, well done.
    I found one main tense issue. For a story writing in present tense, to have “That’s been bothered you for forty years?” didn’t work. It should…[Read more]

  • Yes, story writing is a very different discipline, with different rules. I’m so pleased to see you developing as a storyteller, and believe me, there are those of us who know and can see you learning and improving – that’s what this group is all about 🙂

  • As a general rule, I take what programmes like Hemingway and Grammerly and similar say with a healthy grain of salt. I have no faith in Grammerly for example, and have not really used Hemingway to have a proper opinion of it. The suggestion to break the long sentence into two wasn’t a bad one, just the construction of the two individual sentences…[Read more]

  • Hi Valerie
    Like so many others, I love your description of the green, and your dinner reminds me of the Sunday lunches I used to make with my grandmother, back in the day.
    I agree that after such bus descriptiveness, the ending is too abrupt. Reworking the story to get a better balance would make this good story even better – thanks for sharing

  • Hi Valerie
    Thank you for your reading and generous comments. I love that you are hooked on the story – it as something I set as an aim at the start of the year, so thank you for that 🙂
    There are two stories left for this year, so strap yourself in!

  • Hi Nina
    This is a sensitive and empathic treatment of woman in possibly the worst situation, and very well told.
    I felt myself identifying with her more as the story progressed, and like many other commentators,would love to know what comes next, which is always the sign of a good short story in my opinion. Well done

  • Thanks Nina, for your read and comments. I decided it was high time for the bad guys to show some evil.
    I hope I’m able to get them out too!

  • Hi Seyi,
    Well done on such a good story, quite unexpected from you, which is always a nice surprise, especially when it works.
    I think your story telling is wonderful, you had me in suspense throughout. I’d love to know what happens next, which is one of the signs of a good story – thank you for sharing

  • Laurie and JM Barrie are now friends 1 month ago

  • Hi Seyi
    The evil Empire had to strike back doesn’t it? I was shocked when I realised we were up to October! It’s good though, because you know the end is going to be fast and furious
    I’m looking forward to seeing how I get them out of this mess too lol

  • Hi Jane
    I have to say this story is growing on me! I want to know about her power, and where it comes from…

    The main criticisms I would offer would be to concentrate on your tenses – you do slip from one to the other and back again, which makes your stories a little difficult to read at times.
    I would also say you need to work on…[Read more]

  • should be danger, not anger – my bad

  • Thanks very much, Jane. I wasn’t a huge fan of that sentence either, it’ always felt a bit clunky, so it is definitely one which I will work on in any future reworking of this story.
    There are two stories left, the next 500 word one, and the last one wth 1200 words, so the resolution is coming, although I can’t guarantee there won’t be more in,…[Read more]

  • I can understand your confusion as we are coming to the end of a story that started in January. It’s al been a bit PG so far, it was about time to pull out the evil nastiness…

  • I enjoyed this story, and the vivid recollection of childhood. Some of the description is wonderful, and th comparison with pregnancy and giving birth in your first paragraph is powerful.

    My main critique would be I found some of the paragraphs very long and hard to read. It is a anger of this type of memoir writing, because there i so little…[Read more]

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JM Barrie

@jmbarrie

active 1 week, 4 days ago
Short Story balance: 2
Poetry balance: 1
WTC balance: 1