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Improving 300 worders

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V. R. Lassmann
(@vrlass)
Posts: 54
Bronze Star Member
Topic starter
 

If you want your 300 publicly criticised, put it in here.

 
Posted : November 30, 2022 2:03 pm
Spencer_S and Anna X reacted
V. R. Lassmann
(@vrlass)
Posts: 54
Bronze Star Member
Topic starter
 

Hey guys, what do you think, what could make this story better?

The kindling world.

The first one to get sick was my mom. I remember dad, running from one doctor to another desperately looking for a cure, but no one even know what it was. 

When other people in the island started to get sick a panic spread. The local radio started broadcasting alerts, to not swim in the sea, drink tap water, or eat local seafood. Not saying why.

My mother was still not getting any better, so father took the little money we had, got us all to the mainland, to our grandparents, and went with mom to the hospital. I remember my little brother asking me “Will she come back?”

I had no Idea what to tell him.

I didn’t hear dad coming back. Strange noise in the kitchen, woke me up in the middle of a night. I saw him there but he was different somehow. He was clumsily holding a bottle, emptied in half. 

The TV was flashing in the dark room. I heard the anchorman saying the name of our island, and a weird foreign word. Greenwashing. I remember it felt surreal.

“Dad, how is mom?” I asked.

When he looked at me his eyes went dull, and then for the first time in my life I saw my father, the mightiest man in our island, cry. Slowly I come closer and I hugged him with my tiny arms. No words were spoken. 

Next few days went silent and shallow. Numb in a way. 

Then the reporters come to interview us. One of them approached me with a microphone, asking If I’m happy that some big company will give us a lot of money as compensation. I just asked “Could I give back the money, and get my mom instead?” 

Somehow it set the world on fire.

 
Posted : November 30, 2022 2:04 pm
Anna X and Anna X reacted
Anna X
(@annax)
Posts: 135
Silver Member
 

The End of the World

They say that the end is near. Y2k. 2012. 2022. They were all wrong. The end came much later and not how anyone expected. No fiery explosion of an asteroid destroying the earth. No cyclic global warming and then ice age. The end came with the takedown of capitalism, CEOs and the wealthy all being arrested for crimes against humanity. Being rich was a crime. No trial ensued, just social justice.

My name is Patrick Erickson and I am one of the “wolves” of Wall Street. I spent fifty years climbing the corporate ladder. Capitalism is the way of the free world. The harder you work, the farther you got in life. I built a wonderful life for myself, married the woman of my dreams, and have two thriving children. The jealous looked at my life and coveted all my hard work for themselves. The lazy yelled loudly that I owed them for my success. The spiteful gathered together and threw me in here.

I am penning this last page to my memoir in the hopes that my beautiful wife Sarah may find it and read what has become of me. I am barely alive, being fed a green bologna sandwich a day for many months now. I scrawl fast as my flexible pen is running out of ink.

I love you, Sarah. I love little Timothy and beautiful Marie. I regret nothing, except that the world stood by silently as this happened. The end wasn’t the destruction of the world. It was the destruction of values and hard work, of morals and empathy. My pen is sputtering its last bit of ink.

I am scared, not for me, but for all of you living in a new world of communism hidden behind acquiescence and equality. I will die free.

~ I honestly believe that good stories write themselves. You can always start writing a story, but the characters tell their own tales and if you're lucky enough, you get to merely be in the audience watching everything unfold. ~ 8/1/2022
***
WotF - 2022, V39 Q4: R
WotF - 2022, V40 Q1: Submitted; Q2: Work in Progress;

 
Posted : December 1, 2022 3:34 am
V. R. Lassmann
(@vrlass)
Posts: 54
Bronze Star Member
Topic starter
 

Hey, so I’m gonna start with saying that this isn’t something that I normally read and I don’t feel like I’m your target audience and this one. I’m going to briefly discuss what worked for me and why didn’t

Posted by: @annax

They say that the end is near. Y2k. 2012. 2022. They were all wrong. The end came much later and not how anyone expected. No fiery explosion of an asteroid destroying the earth. No cyclic global warming and then ice age.

So you’re starting here with some post-apocalyptic vibes and it starts off really nice and I think I’m getting some catastrophe story or some post-apo. This sounds really nice.

But then you are trying to reverse the trope, which is cool on the way, but somehow it’s not really that consistent with the rest.

Posted by: @annax

The end came with the takedown of capitalism, CEOs and the wealthy all being arrested for crimes against humanity. Being rich was a crime. No trial ensued, just social justice.

This didn’t work for me. It sounds melodramatic and it’s not because I think that end of capitalism is something good or bad (in the context of utopian solar punk it’s actually sounds really cool). You are just making a bold political statement in here and it’s kinda really in-your-face. 

Posted by: @annax

My name is Patrick Erickson and I am one of the “wolves” of Wall Street. I spent fifty years climbing the corporate ladder. Capitalism is the way of the free world. The harder you work, the farther you got in life. I built a wonderful life for myself, married the woman of my dreams, and have two thriving children. The jealous looked at my life and coveted all my hard work for themselves. The lazy yelled loudly that I owed them for my success. The spiteful gathered together and threw me in here.

So in here you are introducing us to the character, but look how much space are you actually dedicating to exposition of the character and how much on all the rest. There is a lot of information in here, that besides, introducing us to the character doesn’t play any other role whatsoever in the context of your story.

Posted by: @annax

I am penning this last page to my memoir in the hopes that my beautiful wife Sarah may find it and read what has become of me. I am barely alive, being fed a green bologna sandwich a day for many months now. I scrawl fast as my flexible pen is running out of ink.

So this is the paragraph that makes me feel like  you don’t need the previous one. You already have all the information in here that he has a wife and he was happy, and in the one before you already have some information (sufficient) about the character. And on top of that in here, you not only present the character, but also you introduce some emotional attachment. And so it’s way better than the one before. 

But also, this is the place where actually everything gets complicated. Seems like you are actually trying to make the story into a comedy. Witch would be really cool, trope inversing and unexpected, but you did not foreshadow it in any way, so it feels detached, and it’s kind of out of place (if it was to be a comedy I would try to hint it, by introducing humor, a little bit earlier).

Posted by: @annax

I love you, Sarah. I love little Timothy and beautiful Marie. I regret nothing, except that the world stood by silently as this happened. The end wasn’t the destruction of the world. It was the destruction of values and hard work, of morals and empathy. My pen is sputtering its last bit of ink.

So right now it seems like you’re reaching for a comedy, but for example, in this place, I see only the spur and melodramatic vibes, and it feels detached again. In this place, I would try to create an image of the main character as a goofy kind of a person just to keep the comic vibe align with his opinion that he’s being tortured. IMHO it would add to realism of the situation.

Posted by: @annax

I am scared, not for me, but for all of you living in a new world of communism hidden behind acquiescence and equality. I will die free.

And in here you come back to the melodrama and end in this way, so I’m not really certain what did I just read. 

It seems like just a letter made by a very entitled person suffering from first world problems (and for crimes against humanity you get torture buy lasagna treatment), but since this character is unrelatable (and he’s the only one around), the overall story isn’t that much engaging. 

IMHO there is a potential in the story that you can, unravel by adding a narrator, making fun of main character. 

edit.
I am experimenting with speech to text, so I made some mistakes. Tried to fix but some could slip away.
BTW.
I cannot believe how much of a different person I am when i talk and when I write…
Funny 😀

 
Posted : December 6, 2022 9:19 am
Anna X reacted
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