HomeWritersLiterary AgentsEditorsPublishersResourcesDiscussion
Forum Login | Join the discussion
+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11
  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Stoke on Trent, UK
    Posts
    164

    Which is best... can't decide.

    I realise that this is a tiny portion of a 4000 word short story, but I am hoping it will be enough so you will get what I am trying to ask. This is the very end of the story, and I can't decide whether to leave the last word in or take it out. I am leaning very heavily towards taking it out.

    Some background. The story is entitled "Innocence" (mostly about the premature losing of it) and throughout the story, I use the word "innocent" or "innocence" 9 times. More so towards the end.

    And after this last section, I am thinking I don't need it. It should be implied by this point (I believe it is) and I am thinking the reader will say "Okay, you don't have to assume I'm stupid!"

    Your thoughts would be very welcome. Here is the end.

    ***

    “Thank you.” He leaned forward and touched her hand, so glad she was here, and a vivid memory came to his mind. From a time before everything, before the straps and belt buckles, before it all fell apart.

    The memory was of them as very small children, running into the sea, laughing. Way back when they had the thing that his father had stolen from them all.

    Innocence.



  2. #2
    Senior Member Lea Zalas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Southern Georgia
    Posts
    1,756
    If you use as often as you say, then I would leave it out. It would have made an impact at the end, if it wasn't used before that.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Stoke on Trent, UK
    Posts
    164
    Thanks for replying Lea

    Yeah, this is what I am thinking. By the time you get to the end, that word is already in your head - it's kind of the rhythm of the story up until then. Not overly used, but I think it would be in your mind.

    Thanks for your input. It will be interesting to see if I get any other replies.


  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    461
    Less is more. I would leave it out. Every time you throw the word in after a defining moment, you are pounding the reader over the head, telling the reader: "If you didn't understand the metaphor, this is what it means."

    In fact, let's look at your example for a moment:

    “Thank you.” He leaned forward and touched her hand, so glad she was here, and a vivid memory came to his mind. From a time before everything, before the straps and belt buckles, before it all fell apart.

    The memory was of them as very small children, running into the sea, laughing. Way back when they had the thing that his father had stolen from them all.

    Innocence.


    Much of this is "telling" rather than showing. If you are less direct, it could be more effective:

    "Thank you." He leaned forward and touched her hand, so glad she was here. That simple act jarred him, taking him back to a memory of them as very small children, running into the sea, laughing. There were no belt buckles then, no straps across the back, just laughter.

    I guess what I'm suggesting here is that you tighten this so that the reference to the memory is closely connected to the trigger. Right now, they feel separated. And I would leave "before it all fell apart" out because that is implied in context.

    Just my thoughts...

    Jeanne

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Stoke on Trent, UK
    Posts
    164
    ... and your thoughts are much appreciated. Thank you, Jeanne

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    55

    Innocence

    Quote Originally Posted by Debbi V View Post
    I realise that this is a tiny portion of a 4000 word short story, but I am hoping it will be enough so you will get what I am trying to ask. This is the very end of the story, and I can't decide whether to leave the last word in or take it out. I am leaning very heavily towards taking it out.

    Some background. The story is entitled "Innocence" (mostly about the premature losing of it) and throughout the story, I use the word "innocent" or "innocence" 9 times. More so towards the end.

    And after this last section, I am thinking I don't need it. It should be implied by this point (I believe it is) and I am thinking the reader will say "Okay, you don't have to assume I'm stupid!"

    Your thoughts would be very welcome. Here is the end.

    ***

    “Thank you.” He leaned forward and touched her hand, so glad she was here, and a vivid memory came to his mind. From a time before everything, before the straps and belt buckles, before it all fell apart.

    The memory was of them as very small children, running into the sea, laughing. Way back when they had the thing that his father had stolen from them all.

    Innocence.

    I would say you do not need the last word. But I might change "thing" to "quality" or another synonum or even "still possessed what his father had stolen.
    Last edited by BookWerm; 08-25-2012 at 02:52 AM.

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    24
    it sounds redundant by then so remove it, Debbi

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    55

    Laura Lippman

    Quote Originally Posted by Debbi V View Post
    I realise that this is a tiny portion of a 4000 word short story, but I am hoping it will be enough so you will get what I am trying to ask. This is the very end of the story, and I can't decide whether to leave the last word in or take it out. I am leaning very heavily towards taking it out.

    Some background. The story is entitled "Innocence" (mostly about the premature losing of it) and throughout the story, I use the word "innocent" or "innocence" 9 times. More so towards the end.

    And after this last section, I am thinking I don't need it. It should be implied by this point (I believe it is) and I am thinking the reader will say "Okay, you don't have to assume I'm stupid!"

    Your thoughts would be very welcome. Here is the end.

    ***

    “Thank you.” He leaned forward and touched her hand, so glad she was here, and a vivid memory came to his mind. From a time before everything, before the straps and belt buckles, before it all fell apart.

    The memory was of them as very small children, running into the sea, laughing. Way back when they had the thing that his father had stolen from them all.

    Innocence.
    Debbi--have you ever read her? I think it's her book THE LAST PLACE...ends too similarly for comfort.

  9. #9
    Senior Member John Oberon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Columbus, Ohio
    Posts
    3,063
    I think "Way back when they still possessed what his father stole from them all." beats "Way back when they had the thing that his father had stolen from them all." by about a ton.

  10. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Just outside the little village of Milan in the high plains of New Mexico.
    Posts
    13
    'Way back before the man had taken away the perfect smiling time that is youth.'

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts