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  • Glen, I might be doing you a dis-service – did you mean that as she would always win and they would always lose that they would need future bank loans? Sorry for being dim-witted.

  • Hi Glen, I laughed out loud at this story. It’s highly inventive and funny. I’ve never played scrabble (:() but could follow the story nevertheless. There’s a little repitition of the pronoun she at the beginning but despite that the story takes off straight away. I thought the guys were on the mature side. As with the other comments, the ending…[Read more]

  • Thank you Michael, being told I have a gift for a certain type of writing has made my day. It’s lockdown here in the UK and very miserable. I take on board your very helpful comments. The narrator doesn’t actually see the dog, she hears its footpads, but I see how I could improve that. Thank you so much for your positive and constructive feedback.…[Read more]

  • Wow – this is so well written and flows along, seamlessly. I was desperate for the girl to be let-off. I would have liked to have known the crime the girl was accused of. Particularly becuase at the end, if the reader is let in to this withheld information, it would make the end even more powerful. I’m assuming that her crime is not one of murder…[Read more]

  • Thank you Linda, Christy and Becky,
    All of your comments are very valuable to me. I will clear up the confusion about Jeanie’s identity. Critique is so so valuable, it’s so easy to lose yourself in your fictional world, that appears to you to make perfect sense given you know the backstory! A creative writing tutor once told our group, ‘if your…[Read more]

  • Hi Linda, I really love your story and the creepy atmosphere that you set up and maintain. Some fantastic lines in there as in, ‘the wind silenced his voice to a whisper.’ To make your great story even stronger I think you could change a few things, that at the moment overtell to the reader and don’t leave the story enough space to develop…[Read more]

  • Thanks so much for your critique, Linda. Norma Jean became someone very famous but maybe this is generational knowledge, and lost therefore. I will see what others say, should they read it, before I make a change. Thank you so much for you feedback. Best wishes, Julie 🙂

  • I love the beginnng of your story and it had me hooked, desperate to find out the fate of the innocent narrator. The first half is very well written, concise and the reader is pulled along with the high-drama. But, half-way through I felt it lost momentum. There was a little too much repetition of the message that the deal was not struck in a…[Read more]

  • ‘Her’ by Julie Fearn-Howerska

    #

    Ida stepped out into the sweltering mid-day sun, arms bursting with parcels.

    Bill leaned against the store front; a fedora shaded his face. ‘We’re not visiting the President hon […]

    • I enjoyed reading your story. It flows well, and the dialogue works well. Although, I’m a bit confused who “Norma Jean” is at the ending. Is it the girl they see being bullied in the playground of the orphanage? I get the sense that Ida wants to help her, and maybe would be fine with adopting her. I also get the sense that perhaps Ida either went through an abortion when very young herself, when she recalls being in a sour, grubby room and I guess her boyfriend outside waiting for her. I feel sympathy for Ida. Her previous boyfriend and now husband, Bill, aren’t sympathetic or kind like her. I feel that life for her has always been difficult. Good story, but I’m thinking it may help if you’re more clear with the above mentioned details. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks so much for your critique, Linda. Norma Jean became someone very famous but maybe this is generational knowledge, and lost therefore. I will see what others say, should they read it, before I make a change. Thank you so much for you feedback. Best wishes, Julie 🙂

    • Your story is very compelling. I do know who Norma Jean likely is, but I don’t know of her childhood. Even so, I agree there’s a bit of a disconnect between Jeannie and Norm Jean and the child in the playground, if I’m piecing it together correctly. I also found the reference to Jimmy and the grubby hotel room a bit puzzling. Are they the names on the file for the child that Bill and Ida want to adopt? I think this section would benefit from a bit more clarity to carry the reader through the thoughts of the characters. It’s easily done, I expect. Ida is a very sympathetic character, in both scenes, and Bill is distanced and unlikeable. I hope that’s what you were aiming for with these characters. The mousey haired girl is an intriguing character. I look forward to reading your final draft!

    • I really like your writing style!
      I agree that the characters are very likeable. Also, that tightening up the bits about the identity of Norma Jean/girl looking into car/girl on playground/Jimmy would enhance this even more.
      a couple specific suggestions:
      –First semi colon should be a comma, second could be a period in this sentence: “Ida glanced over at Bill; whose arm was draped across the passenger headrest; his fingers absently stroked the tan leather.”
      –I would expect Ida to say “Well, happy birthday! or something similar, here: ‘Really. Okay, well I suppose we should introduce ourselves. I’m Ida and this is Bill.’

    • Thank you Linda, Christy and Becky,
      All of your comments are very valuable to me. I will clear up the confusion about Jeanie’s identity. Critique is so so valuable, it’s so easy to lose yourself in your fictional world, that appears to you to make perfect sense given you know the backstory! A creative writing tutor once told our group, ‘if your reader is confused it’s not becuase they don’t ‘get your story’ its becuase you’ve created confusion.’ I agree with this wholeheartedly. Many thanks for taking the time to read and comment positively. I look forward to re-drafting. Best wishes, Julie 🙂

    • I loved the surprise of who our young orphan is at the end! You create the 1930s world well, and I liked how you created a couple that isn’t quite on the same page, but will make it work. Thanks for sharing, and I look forward to seeing your final draft!

    • Hi Julie, for some reason my effort to comment on your story wouldn’t deposit on the deadline for writers site o i hope this finds it way to you via email…..cheers, Glen Benison

      I really think your story has potential but i feel you need to tie just a few ends together.

      I really like the setting you’ve created of the 1930s. I love all the smoking imagery….smoke rings, flicking his butt; jamming one between his lips, the smoke curling….all really good stuff.

      Bill’s aggressiveness comes across clearly….we don’t really like him but that’s okay because we are drawn to Ida’s sweetness…..and it makes us wonder what kind of father he will be but that too is good for the reader to contemplate.

      Ida’s thoughts about Jimmy and the back room hovel confused me and i had to re-read it again and again to ‘catch on’. Perhaps, when Ida asks “How old is she?” you could make it more clear that she is asking about the young mother and not the baby who is up for adoption….that would connect me more to her back story thoughts of Jimmy. Maybe others caught on faster than me 🙂

      I like that you use Norma Jean (I googled her childhood to learn her story….cool.)

      I do wonder if in the closing you might say Mrs. P puts down the newly-signed adoption file and then reaches for the ‘fat’ file on her desk and closes with ‘poor norma jean….

      Good work on this…

  • Your avenging angel intrigued me, and it’s fitting not to know her name. However, this jars slightly with the story as we are let into her thoughts and motivations throughout. Some pace building to create more tension might make it taughter. I was hooked immediatley and the story pulled me along to its very gratifying conclusion, that is superbly…[Read more]

  • Hi this is a fun intepretation of the theme and I enjoyed reading it. You’ve repeated some words often and this does make it less interesting for the readers. He is used six times in the first paragraph. Finding new words can be hard but fun and makes our writing more readable. Thank you for sharing this with me and I too look forward to Edwin’s…[Read more]

  • Hi Nicole,

    I loved reading your very well-written story. The morphing from one world to the other is so subtle the reader hardly notices it. I love the daughter’s ‘feather soft-hair’.
    I particularly like the way you have subverted the roles of the warrior making the absent mother the one who must go to war rather than the father. It’s a…[Read more]

  • Julie and Nicole are now friends 2 weeks, 2 days ago

  • Thank you for this slice of terror! – I am wondering what happened to her poor boyfriend. Peerhaps he could write the next episode. A wee knit-pick might be that you tell us too much at the beginning so the end is not so much of a surprisre. The Aliens are but not that some terrible event has unfolded. Maybe if you suggested rather than told the…[Read more]

  • Dear Anne,
    Never feel disheartened. We are all brave to publish our work on this site and be open to honest feedback. Feedback makes our work stronger, in the majority of cases. Its always hard finishing a story and sharing for the first time – as writers we become so wrapped up in our imaginary world, or scenario, that we know exactly what’s…[Read more]

  • I enjoyed this story and the twist that I didn’t see coming. A small nit-pick would be the first part of the first sentence is in the present tense (shovel – shovelling surely?) and then the story switches to the past tense. Paul has made some valuable, writerly comments and I look forward to reading more of your stories. Thanks for sharing.

  • Fantastic story and tons of fun. Really well written using present tense which is hard. Wonderfully light. Thanks for sharing.

  • I enjoyed reading your story and was spooked and intrigued by where the driver took her. A nice take on the Alien Abduction theme. For more clarity some of your sentences could be shorter to not contain too many subjects. A vivid read nevertheless. Thanks for sharing.

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  • Fantastic taught story and atmosphere. It would be even better if you could eliminate some of the ‘she’ repetition from the beginning. I know it’s hard work but it would be awesome – you should submit this to a flash fiction site. It kept me intrigued all through and delivered a surprise ending. Brilliant.

  • Michael vK and Julie are now friends 3 weeks, 2 days ago

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Julie

@xyphat1969

active 6 days, 1 hour ago
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