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No more tears

by Starve


“I hate myself more than I hate mirrors.

This morning, I accidentally looked into one. Three hours later, I was writhing on the school ground. Tears in my eyes (as predicted), because of a kick below the belt.

Every attempt to avoid it fails. Once I’ve seen the numbers, I can do nothing but sit and wait for it. The only upside is that I saw Mack’s eyes before he kicked me. So I know he’s got it coming too courtesy his drunk father. Or maybe someone else. Who cares. He’ll cry tonight. The next time, I’ll tell him though he’ll probably hit me again when he finds out I was right.

Can’t avoid shiny things forever anyway.”

His hands quivered as he shut the tattered journal and looked out of the window. He knew he’d best skip the next entry. Seven decades later he hurt just as much, though he could tolerate a lot more. Even appreciate some of it. His bladder urged him towards the bathroom but he wanted to avoid the mirror there. Thus he stayed in bed caressing the cover of his teenage journal, amazed that he still had it. It had been in a box of belongings dropped off at the nursing home by his college-bound grandson yesterday. There was enough space at home, but he thought it best not to dwell on that.

Someone began to play the piano downstairs, and he wandered back into pleasant memories stirred up by the journal. Two pages back there was an older entry, above which was pinned a Polaroid photograph of three boys. One of them was standing awkwardly and the others were laughing hard. He smiled at it before continuing onto the not-so-pleasant words written under it.

“This has to be the gayest power possible. Useless too, and caused me a world of pain in checking if it wasn’t anything else.

There’s no way to switch off the numbers. Whenever I look anyone in the eye they appear next to the head. Ticking away the seconds till that person cries next. If I try to warn anyone they think I’m a weirdo, and even more so when they realize I was right.

This photo shows my attempt at explaining this nonsense to the fellas, and their reaction on hearing that both of them were about to cry. They did cry of course, but the tears came from laughing their asses off.

I have the best friends.”

He loved photographs, especially of those he cared about. He could look at them for as long as he wanted to, and the static eyes wouldn’t yell back the moments he had left till his friends would be down on the ground laughing at his stupid “power”, till his mother would cry silently every year on his father’s death anniversary, till he could not hold himself back. Till forever, because the numbers stopped ticking when his wife bid him a rushed goodbye for the last time.

The realization came too late though, and he had lived long enough to know nobody would believe him.

And so he loved photographs and covered the walls with them wherever he lived. He looked around now, heaving a well-rehearsed sigh of resigned regret. The frames showed a life lived on tip-toes that still tried to dance in its better moments, and was crushed by its own weight in the others. It had settled for the faces that acquiesced to smiling so that a lonely man could glare at them at length.

The entries got more sporadic as he continued flipping through. More carefully, since he had a lump in his throat after the previous entry. He had shed a tear yesterday when he saw his grandson for probably the last time, as the mirror had predicted. But he didn’t want a repeat without knowing when, first. This vicious cycle was a part of him, as much as the by-lanes of memory he would travel down to avoid looking into eyes, mirrors and himself.

Each bitter reverie they caused was an old traitorous friend’s greeting. The last entry was just a single line which read,

“I try not to look in a mirror, but how do I stop?”

After writing which of course, he had tried to jump off a roof. His grandfather saved him. The old man talked a lot of philosophy mixed with movie references, stayed by his side for three days, and dragged him out to the light. That had been a long time ago though, and the negatives left a stronger imprint on his mind than the hurried words of an old man desperately trying to hold on to his grandson.

And so, he kept sneaking glances in mirrors. The questions in them swirled around, some settling down, others floating to the forefront of his mind. They needled him and he tried to answer even if it always ended in tears. The place for someone like him in the world wasn’t a comfortable one. Life continued to race him by— he tried to hang on but inexorably slipped into the ocean of another pair of eyes threatening to overflow.

A chill wind blew in, turning his attention to a dog-eared page near the end. That’s odd, he thought as he turned over to it to find something written in a scribble recognizably different from his —



“Grandpa, I have it too. Don’t worry.”

He flicked the journal aside and stood up. An urgent phone call was needed to be made. After relieving himself, of course. He was an old man after all.

For the first time in a long time he did not glance at the dirty mirror on his way out of the washroom. He never could make the call though, and if he had looked at the mirror he would have seen that the numbers had stopped ticking.

*(2nd possible ending lines — For the first time in a long time, he did not glance at the dirty mirror on the way out of the washroom. Had he done so, he would have seen that the numbers had stopped ticking.

No calls were made that day from his room in the nursing home.)

_____________________________________________________________________________

Prompt — An octagenarian man on his deathbed, is given a diary he maintained through his adolescence. Describe the emotions that surge up in his mind.

IF you're writing a review or even just commenting, I'd really appreciate it if you could also add how relevant you thought the story was to the prompt. ( It did reach the 1 k word limit)

This is the second draft, initially the story was named "The Absurdity of hope". Do comment on the title too, if possible. 

Link to another version of the same story


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Tue Dec 18, 2018 4:54 am
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Mea wrote a review...



Hey Traves! Sounds like I'm reading the second draft of this story by now, so cool, glad I can still be of some help.

I think the concept here works. I like the creative approach to the prompt and I think you can definitely use this idea for the contest you're submitting to. I think something that makes this work is how you turn the prompt into a proper story with a progression, rather than just leaving us in his thoughts. With these sorts of prompts, it's often better to try to stretch them rather than doing something really obvious.

I think one of the main critiques I have is a pretty simple one: you have cool concepts here, and I like the back and forth between the diary entries and the present day, and I particularly liked the twist at the end, but... I had to read this through twice before I understood what was going on well enough to enjoy it.

I'm not entirely sure why, but I think to some extent it just comes down to the fact that your writing style here is rather minimalistic, which is more than fine, it just means that when you have awkwardly-worded sentences that are hard for the reader to parse, we miss a lot of information.

Some lines that did more to engender confusion rather than give me information:

Seven decades later he hurt just as much, though he could tolerate a lot more. Even appreciate some of it.

I really just don't know what hurt he's referring to now. Physical pain, or the difficulty of his curse?

There was enough space at home, but he thought it best not to dwell on that.

I'm just not sure what you're trying to imply.

The frames showed a life lived on tip-toes that still tried to dance in its better moments, and was crushed by its own weight in the others. It had settled for the faces that acquiesced to smiling so that a lonely man could glare at them at length.

These sentences sound nice, but the meaning is lost to me in the poetry.

Till forever, because the numbers stopped ticking when his wife bid him a rushed goodbye for the last time.

The realization came too late though, and he had lived long enough to know nobody would believe him.

I want to know what the numbers stopping ticking looks like. At first, it was too easy for me to confuse the numbers stopping ticking with that being when the person starts crying, because presumably the numbers aren't still ticking while they're in the middle of crying. I think it might be more clear if the numbers vanish altogether if the person is never going to cry again. What would the frozen numbers even be? Would they just stop at zero? And do they look like a 00:00 countdown counting down seconds? What if it's going to be months or years before the person cries again? The lack of a visual was actually a big setback for me.

The questions in them swirled around, some settling down, others floating to the forefront of his mind.

Again here, you're slipping far enough into poetry that I'm not sure what he's actually thinking. I don't get a very good sense of how he dealt with this throughout his life because of how abstractly you describe his attitude here and in other places throughout the piece. I think if I had a curse like this, it would give me more insight into how everyone has their own sorrows in life, and also help me know better when people need help. I don't think it's obvious that a curse like this would *only* bring unhappiness to a person's life, or at least that after seventy years of dealing with it, you couldn't figure out better ways to manage. Now, maybe because of your main character's personality and attitude, he's always treated it like this awful curse destined to ruin his life - so why? What made him so resigned to being unhappy because of this curse? Why has he let it come between him and so many relationships in all the decades of his life? It almost feels like he's still in the same place he was as a teenager, even though so much time has passed - why?

I'm not quite sure where this review has gone; it got away from me a bit. But I need to wrap it up here, and I hope these thoughts can be useful to you. Again, I think the concept and the "plot" are solid, and I wish you the best with the contest. Let me know if you have any questions, and thanks for requesting a review in my thread. :)




Starve says...


Thanks a lot for the review @Mea !

I have already improved 3-4 places that you and LanaOverland suggested, and the third draft is well underway. I'm reading this https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/161 ... -sentences in the hopes of learning correct levels of abstraction in my sentences, since I agree that the emotions are getting too abstract in order to fit into the word limit, not translating well into same impact for the reader.

I'll tag you when the third draft is ready and hopefully you lemme know if it's any better

Thanks!



Starve says...


If you have any favourite short stories etc. which handle emotions deftly, then please lemme know, I'll go through them too!



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Tue Dec 18, 2018 1:44 am
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LanaOverland wrote a review...



Hey-o. This is Lana, you requested a review from me...so I'm gonna do that.

Synopsis: So this old guy has the power to see how long until a person will cry in their eyes. He gets his childhood journal from his grandson who has the same power and is about to die.

Okay so I usually do a line by line review in which I go line by line anything that stuck out to me, but that section of the review will be kinda short since it's not what you asked me to look at and I only have a few notes cause I thought it was technically speaking well written.

My first quote is "Seven decades later he hurt just as much, though he could tolerate a lot more. Even appreciate some of it. His bladder urged him towards the bathroom but he wanted to avoid the mirror there." but I think there's another quote later on that has a similar problem: "He flicked the journal aside and stood up. An urgent phone call was needed to be made. After relieving himself, of course. He was an old man after all." I'm kinda going out of order here, but oh well.
----I get that you're trying to add in some humor and you're trying to make the connection with the mirror, but to be honest all this potty talk is distracting from the emotion of your piece which is sadness. Especially since you're going from a big emotional moment the sentence before to urine. I don't think mentioning the bladder is necessary so I'd just get rid of it entirely.

"If I try to warn anyone they think I’m a weirdo, and even more so when they realize I was right."
----So here my problem is the choice of verb for his power. Like he knows he can't stop them from crying, so what's the point in "warning" them. It seems like an odd thing to do in his shoes. Crying is not something you warn someone about like you would with physical pain. Like if I had this power (and I'm not a teenage boy) I'd probably worry less about warning them and more about being prepared to be there for them. I just think it's a weird thing for him to do in the context.

"He had shed a tear yesterday when he saw his grandson for probably the last time, as the mirror had predicted."
----It's not so much the mirror. Like it's not a special mirror. It's his eyes. By saying the mirror predicted it you 1 create confusion and 2 distance him from his own ability and the physical representation of his ability which is the numbers.

"After writing which of course, he had tried to jump off a roof. His grandfather saved him. The old man talked a lot of philosophy mixed with movie references, stayed by his side for three days, and dragged him out to the light. That had been a long time ago though, and the negatives left a stronger imprint on his mind than the hurried words of an old man desperately trying to hold on to his grandson."
----I got really confused in this section cause was it the Main Character's grandfather or him as the grandfather? Another family member may be less confusing. Also like, what's the emotional takeaway from this scene? I get the parallel to him and his own grandson, but I wasn't getting the emotion reading this. I feel like I just read "And this happened at one point" rather than feeling for the character which I know I should be feeling. Yes this is a suicide attempt scene, but you say "he had tried to jump off a roof" which distances us temporally with the "had tried" and distances us from the emotionally with the "of course" (which makes it sound logical). This is an emotional story. So why is it so distant from the things that drive the emotion? How did his grandfather save him? How did he find him? How does he feel now that he has his own grandson and learned to live with his power?

So overall it's definitely an interesting take on the prompt, but I think because you add this interesting quirk of powers to the mix you didn't have time for the point of the exercise which is really these emotions and how they feel. I don't think the powers is something you have to get rid of for the sake of the prompt. But I do think you're going to have to throw away that 1K word limit in order to make it work successfully. You need the space to flesh out the powers and you need the space to get invested in those emotions (cause emotions come from the moments they spawn from).

I really enjoyed reading your piece. Good luck with your editing I know you said this was your second draft, so I hope that means you're enjoying writing this piece.




Starve says...


Thanks @LanaOverland , this is a very insightful review!

I unfortunately have to work within the limit, as the prompt is for a competition. I agree with a lot of your criticism, especially the emotional relevance of his suicide attempt.
Given that i am fully prepared to make a third draft, how and where would you suggest I handle/add emotion? This is my first time writing an emotion focused story, usually i write plot-heavy stuff.
So your comments will be very valuable and incorporated into the third draft, like I did for the reviews below.

Thanks again!



Starve says...


If you have any favourite short stories etc. which handle emotions deftly, then please lemme know, I'll go through them too!



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Fri Dec 14, 2018 2:18 pm
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Tenyo wrote a review...



Hey Traves! One Trial By Fire coming up. I'm gonna pick every sentence apart so it may feel like a lot of criticism but mostly it's just pulling up weeds and super fine tuning, feel free to move past the parts you disagree, and of course questions are welcome =]


“Even if not for my face, I hate mirrors. I’ve went back and forth on the matter and I’m sure. I don’t want to know.”

(Openings need to have an impact, but the wording of this makes it vague and reduces it somewhat. The idea works, but try to include more specific language.)


That much still remained true nearly seven decades later,/ and the extent to which the statement still resonated [expand]. let him forget for a moment (he forgot) about the oxygen cylinder he had to drag around [which was nearly empty].

(Important things; the words are true, the statement resonates, it makes a distraction. If the empty cylinder is a casual reference, you can put the 'nearly empty' before 'oxygen'. If it's important, it should also have its own sentence or clause.)

Thus he was in bed reading his old black tattered journal even though his bladder urged him otherwise,// since the bathroom had a mirror and he wanted to [delay facing it] for as long as possible. (Try to think of a stronger way of phrasing this, something a little more dramatic to emphasise the impact it has. Especially since the urge that he is resisting is such a key part to the story.)

He had found his teenage journal in a box of things his grandson had dropped off at the nursing home, now that he was going off to college and his parents were renovating the family house. He also knew that there was enough space at [the place he still thought of as home] for all of his belongings, and what this delivery of goods meant.

(Be more specific on the place he thought of as home. Specific details will colour his background a bit more and add depth to his character. Your reader will know by the fact that you've mentioned it that the delivery means something. The mention of there still being enough space is enough to make that impact so you don't need the extra words.)

A siren blared outside and his wandering mind meandered back into [?]more pleasant memories stirred up by the journal. Well, pleasant in hindsight, and barely.[?] He flipped two pages back to an entry, above which was pinned a Polaroid photograph of three boys, one of them standing awkwardly and the other two laughing hard. He nearly smiled at it before continuing.

(Are the memories more pleasant or not? There's probably a more accurate word for that feeling.)


“Thanks a lot for giving me the gayest power possible, whoever’s done it. There’s no way to switch off the numbers unless I un-focus really hard to the point of shitting my pants. Otherwise there they are, whenever I look someone in the eye. Ticking away the seconds till they cry tears next. Completely useless too, and caused me hella pain in checking if it wasn’t anything else.
If I try to warn anyone they think I’m a weirdo, and even more so when they realize I was right. This photo of course shows my attempt at explaining this nonsense to the fellas, and my warning that both of them were about to cry. They did cry of course, but the tears came from laughing their asses off.”
(When skipping between time periods you need a bit more structure for it to make sense. A few words explaining when or where the scene was happening would help ground it. Be specific in names and locations.)

He loved photographs, especially of those he cared about,// because he could look at them for as long as he wanted to and the static eyes would not yell back the moments he had left till his friend would be down on the ground laughing at [something stupid], till his mother would cry her eyes out on receiving the flag- wrapped remains of his father, till he himself [couldn’t take it anymore].

(Again, be more specific on what his friend was laughing at, or what happened when he couldn't take it anymore. It's a great place to build on a character.)


Till [?]forever, which is what the numbers said when they stopped ticking[?] as his wife bid him a rushed goodbye on [a busy morning] for the last time, although she didn’t know. And so, he could sometimes predict deaths, but usually too late, and so nobody believed him.

(The 'forever' thing doesn't fit with the chain of events in the previous paragraph. I'm guessing they stop ticking because the person won't cry anymore. Does that mean if they never cry they look like they're dying?)(The first sentence implies the prediction of death and is powerful enough without the extra explanation.)


He glanced at the walls around him// which [?] were lined with [?]frames of a life lived on tip-toes that still tried to dance in its better moments, and was crushed by its own weight in the others. It settled for the faces that acquiesced to smiling so that a lonely man could glare at them at length.[?]

(The grammar here is quite confusing, since you change the subject mid-sentence; starting with the walls as the subject and then slipping into the life lived as the subject. You could clarify by placing the life lived at the beginning of the sentence, or separating it from the description of the walls into its own sentence/)


Turning his attention back to journal, he continued flipping through [his journal] carefully —//he’d already [?]teared[?] up a bit[-] as the bathroom mirror had predicted[-] yesterday when he saw his grandson for what was probably the last time [?]but he didn’t know the next time, which was why he dreaded the mirror he always unsuccessfully tried to avoid. [?]

('Teared up' may not be the right word here, it's less sophisticated compared to the general tone of the piece.)(You could use commas instead of hyphens, but you need something to separate 'as the bathroom...')(I can't figure out what the last part of that sentence means, so it could probably do with rephrasing.)

Old men were just some bone and their habits, he had read somewhere. The entries got more sporadic as he re-read its contents, losing himself in [?]nostalgic reveries induced by the anguish filled happenings[?] of an unusual teenage boy, only to be forced back into the real world by his dearly earned habit of [?]not dwelling for too long on the same thoughts[?].

(The nostalgic reveries and anguish filled happenings are contradictory. The same with losing himself in a reverie and not dwelling for too long. Either is fine but both dilute the impact.)

The last entry was just a single line which read,
“I try to not look in a mirror, but how do I stop looking into my eyes?
After which of course, he tried to jump off a roof but had been saved by his grandfather,// who talked him down who [he] talked a lot of philosophy mixed with movie references and stayed by his side for three days, and steadily dragged him out to the light.

But most importantly, he made the kid realize that there was at least one person who believed that he could see and took him seriously. That had been a long time ago though, and the negatives were imprinted far more strongly [left a stronger imprint] on his consciousness than the quivering words of an old man desperately trying to hold on to his grandson.
(Just trimming a few words. Where possible, rephrase and switch out adverbs for adjectives.)

And so, he kept sneaking glances in mirrors. The questions in them swirled around, some settling down, others floating to the forefront of his mind// [they] needled him and he tried to answer, even if it always ended in tears.
('some' and 'others' work the same way as a list, so you need to end the sentence and start a new one before continuing with a new verb.)

The place for someone like him in the world wasn’t a very comfortable one— [?]if it existed. He believed it did though,[?] and never tried to end it all again. Life continued to race him by, him hanging on with just a handhold, finger-hold, nail-hold, always slipping into the ocean of another pair of eyes threatening to overflow.
(Since the story is told from his perspective 'if it existed' is out of place here because it's an opinion that contradicts his believing of it.

A chill wind blew in turning his attention towards a dog eared page near the end. That’s strange, he thought as he turned over to page to find something written in a scribble recognizably different from his —
“Grandpa, I have it too. Don’t worry.”
He flicked the journal aside and stood up as quickly as possible— [he] needed to make an urgent call [?](after relieving himself; he still was an old man after all)[?]. For the first time in a long time he did not glance at the dirty mirror on his way out of the washroom.
He never could make the call though, and if he had looked at the mirror he would have seen that the numbers had stopped ticking.
('as quickly as possible' is a weak phrase, and the ending has enough of a punch without having to speed it up.)(Brackets in stories are normally used for extra additions to the text that may not always be relevant, but the bit about his bladder is significant at this point so probably deserves more attention.)

Thoughts;

Grammar is your vice in this piece. The biggest issue is sentence structure- every subject should have its own sentence, but you tend to include multiple subjects in the same sentence and it really dilutes the impact of what you're writing and makes some sentences hard to understand. Try to split each subject-verb pair into its own sentence. This is something you may need to work on as a general aim.

The story itself however is fantastic, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it the first time over (before I put it in the furnace). The language is sophisticated and the slow pacing with the sudden turn at the end really suits his character and the nature of the piece. It's also really, really clever! I love that something as simple as needing to pee was so crucial to the plot, I kind of expected something unexpected that would link back to the beginning, but I think I was too wrapped up in the story to realise.

One of my favourite techniques in writing is the use of an unreliable narrator, and although this piece isn't quite that, it feels like something similar. I was so wrapped up in his narrative and his version of what had happened that I completely missed what was there and that is wonderful =D




Starve says...


@Tenyo damn, this takes the crown for best review I've received. Thanks doesn't cover it, and I have realized that sentence construction problems are a big issue for me. Your suggestions are very helpful, and in fact, they really drive home the points put in this book I started reading just now to learn how to form correct sentences https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/161 ... -sentences

I'll tag you when I finish the re write and hopefully you'll lemme know if it's ant better



Starve says...


*any better



Starve says...


One question though, how would you suggest I decrease or increase the unreliability of the narrator? BEcause my favourite story (KingKiller Chronicle) has an unreliable narrator too.



Tenyo says...


I'm glad I could help =D Please do tag me when you finish, I'd love to see how it turns out.

For increasing the unreliability of the narrator in a short story my go-to would be to allow for a little rambling of introspection on how he sees things, but then include subtle contradictions to those thoughts in his environment, like... complaining about nobody ever calling to talk to him but then taking the phone off the hook because it's been ringing so much, kind of thing. To decrease it you could probably have him recognise the peculiarities in events but not quite give him all the information he needs to figure it out.



Starve says...


Hey, @Tenyo .
I have done major re-edits, including the title. I look forward to your valuable feedback, and I am still ready to make a third draft!



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Rascalover wrote a review...



Hey!

So, first of all thank you so much for requesting a review! You are one talented writer my friend, and hopefully I can give you some tips to become greater!

I know that you really want a review to talk about the relatability the story has to the prompt given, so I won't pull out the individual grammar mistakes, but I challenge you to re-read through some of the beginning, and see if you can find where there should be some sentence reconstruction, missing commas, and commas that aren't needed, oh and maybe some missing words in sentences.

I can easily feel the emotion pouring out of this piece. You use such vivd description words, and create these beautiful memories. The ending is definitely a punch to the gut. I think you have put such a unique twist to the prompt. Instead of reflecting over his whole life in this linear type of way, you are reflecting on his feelings about some of his memories, and making them prominent to the here and now.

I think you did a fabulous job, and I am so excited to read some more of your work. If you need anything else feel free to ask,
Rascalover




Starve says...


Thanks, @Rascalover ! It seems I need to re learn my sentence structure basics before re-editing. If you have any great stories you like or good books on writing etc. I'll read that too, so feel free to recommend.

And I'm travelling today so I'll start reviewing your story tomorrow.



Starve says...


Thanks, @Rascalover ! It seems I need to re learn my sentence structure basics before re-editing. If you have any great stories you like or good books on writing etc. I'll read that too, so feel free to recommend.

And I'm travelling today so I'll start reviewing your story tomorrow.



Rascalover says...


Awesome! Thanks!



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EternalRain wrote a review...



Hi! Here as requested. I’m going to discuss some of my thoughts and then address the question!

Okay, so I read this a total of 2 times. The first I was a bit confused but by the second time reading it I understood it much better. I think what led to that confusion were a couple of things:
- sentence structure. Some of the sentences were wacky lengths and really long; they felt more like trains of thought rather than a polished and complete sentence. For example:

He loved photographs, especially of those he cared about, because he could look at them for as long as he wanted to and the static eyes would not yell back the moments he had left till his friend would be down on the ground laughing at something stupid, till his mother would cry her eyes out on receiving the flag- wrapped remains of his father, till he himself couldn’t take it anymore.

Not only is this sentence really long and hard to manage, but it feels really scattered. I think breaking some of the sentences down would help.

- overall premise of him/mirrors. So I actually really like this idea, but even on the 2nd go I’m still a bit confused. Can he see the time ticking away in the mirrors? I like how right now you’re trying to keep it subtle and not outright “This is what the mirrors do”, but even a clearer subtle way of showing it would be nice - this could even be just developing it a little more.
This is an example of a section that could use a bit more developing (or maybe just cleaning up sentence wise)
Turning his attention back to journal, he continued flipping through carefully —he’d already teared up a bit as the bathroom mirror had predicted yesterday when he saw his grandson for what was probably the last time but he didn’t know the next time he might cry, which was why he dreaded the mirror he always unsuccessfully tried to avoid.


Besides the confusion and the sentence structure, I really liked this piece. I especially liked how his grandson appears to have the same abilities as he does. The ending also really got me - I liked that twist and the last line really pulled it all together (and what was one of the things that clicked the most about the mirrors).

Now for your question.
I would definitely say the story upheld the first part of the prompt (on his deathbed, diary, reflection). I think, while the emotions may not be the premise of the story, they are present and it still, therefore, addresses the prompt. We see him tear up at different places and laugh at others. I would have liked a bit more of the emotion shown through him - his heart lurching, fingers shaking as he flips pages, etc.

I think this is a really solid story, though! I hope this helps you out, and good luck!:)

~ EternalRain




Starve says...


Thanks a lot ! I have gotten similar comments on the sentence structures and I agree completely.
The mirrors are the worst because in the mirrors, he has to look into his own eyes, and see the next time he'd cry. Same for other people, he sees it when he meets their eyes, which he doesn't wanna know, and hence the awkwardness and social exclusion are a lifelong theme.

I hope you will give your thoughts if the re-write of the story is any better by tagging tou when it's done?



Starve says...


If you have some favourite stories of yours or good books/links etc. I'll gladly go through them



EternalRain says...


Sure, I%u2019d love to give my thoughts on a rewrite!



Starve says...


Hey, @EternalRain
I have done a re-write, and I really need your thoughts on it.
Thanks!




Don't aim at success--the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side-effect of one's dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one's surrender to a person other than oneself.
— Viktor E. Frankl