• Hi Ben,

    Congratulations on another gripping tale.

    There are a few areas where the language can be tightened.
    E.g. “She was circling around him” could be “she circled around him”.
    The combination of “was” followed by an “ing” word slows the pace of delivery. The alternative is shorter and maintains the momentum.
    As for “you and me, we had…[Read more]

  • Hi ED,
    A powerful end to last months submission.
    Have another scan over the pronouns especially those used to commence a sentence.
    There are repeats that can be avoided if you combine shorter sentences into a single longer sentence.
    This story would be all the more powerful if told from Stella’s POV in first person allowing her fears to be…[Read more]

  • Hi Mark,

    It is indeed a terrible episode in history which must never be allowed to repeat.
    I appreciate the read.


  • It Happened by Paul J P Slater


    I closed the hut door behind me as silently as I could, striving to not make a sound or draw attention to myself. My assigned bunk was the first on the left. Some good fortune, […]

    • JP powerful descriptions in this work. A great reflection of a terrified episode in history. This is the start of a story that will grow

    • Hey Paul, and how goes it? Thanks for the warning, I did find it tough to read. Must also have been tough for you to develop the dialogue and the characters carrying this piece. The last line is possibly the most meaningful, considering the number of deniers out there. Well done and all the very best. Regards, Seyi

    • Hi Paulie

      jooooo – this was horrible to read, you brought tears to my eyes just visualizing this. Powerful, disturbing, horrendous , brilliant storytelling .

      on the technical side:
      I believe you could lose your opening para and start with the bunkmate waiting for her. In fact, start with ‘what happened’ – that hook will draw curious readers in and you can expand from there.
      ‘smirked’ is an inappropriate word choice – look at other alternatives.
      rid your writing of the passive ‘had’ – they had/he had/ have had /who had etc

      Well Done.
      Hope I can sleep tonight after this …😢

    • Hi, Paul. This was unsettling to say the least. I have trouble seeing this side of the human race. I have read similar stories that hurt to the core. Have you read the book called Treblinka? No comments other than sometimes these stories need to be told to be remembered. Thanks again for sharing, Sharon

    • Hi Paul, thank you for the warning. That was horrifying and heartbreaking to read but your last line hammers home why one should continue to write and read such stories. It did happen and so that it does not again, we must never forget.

    • Wow, Paul. I don’t know why I am compelled to look up “Never forget” in a hundred languages. Just typing the words now brings tears to my eyes. Thank you for the warning about the read. Heartbreaking. So impossible to comprehend the depth of human depravity. My heart raced through the whole read.

      I did not understand this:
      Struggling to hold back my tears, I nodded while stuffing bony fingers into my gaping mouth.
      after the previous scene description said this:
      Both of my companion’s hands held fast to mine. Her small eyes peered out from within hollow sockets.

      I understand the handhold could be dropped, but I don’t understand the significance of the action of stuffing her fingers in her mouth. I might be slow on the uptake though. : )

      Thanks for tackling a difficult and always relevant subject.

  • Hi Amanda,
    What is it they say, don’t work with children or animals.
    This is one of those situations.
    Thank for sharing.

  • Anne and Profile picture of Paul J P SlaterPaul J P Slater are now friends 1 week, 1 day ago

  • Hi JM,

    If I am honest, I had not thought of the now obvious miss direction because I focussed on actually making the hammer.
    But you raise a good point which may have worked in my favour.
    The symbol of empowerment was intentional.

    Thank you for the read and encouragement.


  • Hi Irene,

    I’m glad the story appealed to you, and perhaps your son.
    Teachers, the world over, focus on the pupils in their care.
    I wanted to give them a nod.

    Thank you for your kind thoughts.


  • Hi Ben,

    Thank you for the read.
    I think the story might have been clearer if I had referred to one staff room.
    My Secondary school had multiple staff rooms which probably influenced my thoughts.
    I appreciate the feedback and thoughts.


  • Hi Kim,

    It’s been a while. I hope it’s nothing I said or did.

    As for the weight of the Hammer, I was asked to ensure it as no more than 3 Kg.
    It duly is under 3 Kg. I thought this was a bit heavy and reduced the weight in the story to 2 KG.
    The picture is prototype 2 which I smashed after uploading this story.
    Prototype 3 survived and…[Read more]

  • Hi Jessica,
    I made an effort to not disclose what Tom wanted to be made and to follow along until it was left to “set”. Perhaps it worked.
    I also tried to include one or 2 sentences with meaning or character reveal. Maybe this also worked.
    Thank you for the feedback and encouragement.

  • Hi Nina,

    This is a beautifully sad, yet sweet story. It shows the depth of genuine love that seems at ease when it spans generations.

    I picked up on a few things for your consideration:
    The usual on adverbs. I make it over a dozen which seems a little heavy for this length of submission.
    There are a lot of pronoun repeats, especially in…[Read more]

  • Hi Charles,

    I see this is your first submission. Welcome to DWF.
    I look forward to reading more of your work.

    The opening sentence grabbed my attention, as it should.
    It makes for an enjoyable experience flipping the reader between reality and imagination.
    I admire the nod to flippant thinking “…to pretend that foreign blood runs…[Read more]

  • Hi Charles,
    Thank you for the feedback and encouragement.
    I’m delighted the story had more for you than the obvious.
    I try for this. Perhaps it worked with this one.

  • Hi Amy Grace,

    I see this is your first submission to DFW.
    Welcome. I hope you stick around and submit in future months.

    A few small observations.
    You don’t need “all” in “all of my attention”. It’s sort of superfluous.
    You can drop “now” at the end of “15 minutes late now.” It’s not necessary and removing it puts a word back into your…[Read more]

  • Hi Chantel,
    I appreciate you believing in Tom and his English teacher.
    Thank you for the read and encouragement. It is much appreciated.

  • Hi Elizabeth,

    As has been said many times, this is great.
    You have brought a terrible situation to life and taken your reader on the journey.

    A few small pickups.
    You can get away without “Papa was home” as he is named in the next line.
    I’m not sure you need the exclamation marks in “Stella! Remi!”
    This is a summary sentence. “Ev…[Read more]

  • Hi Becky,
    Reading, re-reading and listening to the story using READ ALOUD makes these things jump out at me but I understand your point.
    It’s your story, your call.

  • Hi Kim,

    Cleverly done.

    I love your opener where emotional medics are dispatched to attend to the morally wounded in no man’s land.
    How very apt in these situations.

    The lack of gas is simply a different approach and you made it work for you in your wonderful style of writing.
    Well done.

    From the comments, perhaps I am not alone in w…[Read more]

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Paul J P Slater

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