Here goes nothing

Someone once said that every writer has a thousand lousy stories in them, and you have to just write them and get them out of the way to get to the good ones. I figured I’d better get started.

You probably noticed I haven’t posted for a while, and I really should be writing some stuff, just sort of general thoughts on the end of the year and my thoughts about the whole Korea experience. Well, that’ll come next, but first I wanted to finish this story and put it up here so anyone can see it. So here it is.

Before you start, I’ll mention a few things about it. It’s not the frog story that I kept mentioning a while ago; it’s a different one. It’s 25 pages long (these are roughly equivalent to fairly large-print paperback pages) and, since you may not be expecting this from me, there’s also copious profanity, mainly because most of the characters in it are just that kind of people. Also, if you know what’s been going on in Micah’s life, it’ll probably become obvious that I drew pretty heavily on his story. But it’s only inspired by a few real events here and there; it isn’t actually a faithful retelling of anything.

So that’s it. Maybe it’s good, maybe it’s not. In any case, it has a beginning, a middle, and an end, so it’s a story.

(Oh, by the way—it’s set in that font I’ve been working on.)

File under: writing


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Chuck

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I think I finally got it so anyone can see it. Took it off of Google Docs because they're not on top of things, and put it on a site called Scribd instead. Let me know if you can't see it.

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Anonymous

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Scribd works. I will thank you for the read before I read it. So thanks. By the way your call was a pleasant surprise. Grandma is still talking about it. G. Pa.

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Anonymous

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I read your story and can't believe you'd not know how good it is. If you need 1000 stories to write a good one the world is crazy. Because your first one is good! And the language is OK by me, because that's the language you really hear all around. From young people, anyway. I think you've nailed it. Grandma

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Chuck

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Thanks, Grandma! I'm not sure why I waited to say I'm glad you liked it. I think I was waiting for anyone else to comment as well, or something, but that doesn't really make much sense. Anyhow, it's good to hear it turned out okay. That's actually not my first story, it's more like my second completed one, and the stuff I wrote for the frog story added up to longer than this story's total length (but I figured at some point that with the frogs it wasn't working and I needed to start all over again—someday that story will appear). I'm thinking about ideas for new stories too, so it shouldn't be the last one in any case.

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Anonymous

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Finally had a chance to read your story. Incredibly good. Excellent! I am wondering if another a new chapter(s) may appear at a later date. I did not want this story to stop. I am greatly impressed. Grandpa

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Anonymous

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Good story. You have a future as a writer. Very vivid and alive. Abrupt, colorful, and symbolic.

Anxiously waiting for the next short story.

Dave

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Chuck

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I guess the demand is on for another one, huh? Glad you like it.

Does anyone happen to have critique? Ideally I'll be able to improve on some facet or other for the next story, but I don't have much of an idea what to work on.

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Anonymous

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Okay. One man's critique. If your going to publish it I think a reduction in both kind and number of cuss words would be required. In order to do that, I would try to invent words that convey the meaning; (friggin) comes to mind. Everyone knows what you are saying but you are not saying it. Creating some new, never before published substitute cuss words, would probably increase sales. You asked for a critique, you didn't say you would agree with it. GPa

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Anonymous

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I'd leave the bad words as they are, even though they are highly offensive. They are spot on in their reproduction of young, rebellious kids' speech. I'd take them out only if a publisher demanded it.

I can think of no specific things I'd change, but I loved the reference to Gen. Petraeus. Unexpected and funny. Grandma

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Anonymous

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I'd leave the bad words as they are, even though they are highly offensive. They are spot on in their reproduction of young, rebellious kids' speech. I'd take them out only if a publisher demanded it.

I can think of no specific things I'd change, but I loved the reference to Gen. Petraeus. Unexpected and funny. Grandma

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Chuck

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Yeah, Grandma's got what I was going for with the swearing. I wasn't aiming for shock value, I was writing the way these kids would speak: inarticulate and uncensored.

Funny that you mentioned the Petraeus reference… when I asked Sean for comments, one was that he liked the Neverending Story reference. I guess references stick out to people.

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Anonymous

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I have only read it over once so can't critique yet, but can say I think it's up to the standard of any story I've ever read. You're my kind of writer. What I love most is that it is absolute heartfelt truths. Your dialogue is totally realistic. Don't change that. If I can figure out how to download and print, I can mull it over more, and might be able to make some more specific comments. Can you tell me how to get a hold-in-my-hand copy? I'm too old-fashioned to do my best reading on a screen. (I was afraid to try downloading to Facebook, I don't know where it might show up again that you wouldn't appreciate.)
Irene

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Anonymous

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By the way, on another topic. If you can get your hands on the latest Time Magazine, they have a very interesting article on Mongolia and Ulan Batar.

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Chuck

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I think downloading with Facebook should work fine, and won't do anything I don't want to have happen. Alternatively, though, you can create a Scribd account, which is drop-dead easy, and only requires you to enter your email address. Then you can download it and print it right out. Glad you liked it so much. I've never really written anything with a lot of dialog in it before, so I was nervous about how that would turn out, but from what people are saying, it sounds like I got it.

I looked at Time's website, but it only gave me a teaser paragraph and told me to subscribe to read the rest. Maybe I'll find a copy in some library in Europe or something. But I've heard about this mining issue, and I'm going to keep an ear out for whether anyone says something interesting about it. Chances are I won't be getting anywhere close to the mine itself.

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