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​Dramatic Effect

by AbduBinSaj8


My wish for writing stories, which was asleep for a long time, suddenly awoke. I don't know why, but my urge to write a story reached its limit. All I know is that I must have to write a story.

I was lying in bed. It was 11 o'clock at night already. I jumped up from the bed and swiftly approached the reading table. Then pointing the pen over a fresh paper, I took a deep breath. Once you start writing something, it will be written for sure - at least that's what I believe. But how do you start writing something? My overconfidence was shattered within a moment and confusion took a grip of me. The paper looked clean as ever; not a drop of ink was on it. I thought for about ten minutes on what to write. After much brainstorming, I decided to write something. So I calmed myself down and started off by writing a big 'E' in one corner of the white paper. After thinking for a while, I crossed out the letter and wrote another letter. I wrote a big 'O', vocalizing it at the same time. I wanted to write 'once upon a time'. But then my train of thought suddenly crashed into an invisible barrier. Then it got blown to smithereens because of the gunpowder it was carrying.

And this is how I suffered a burnout by doing absolutely nothing. I looked at the table clock. It was 12 o'clock already. I've got school tomorrow. Getting upset, I rolled up the paper and threw it away. Lying in the bed again, I contemplated upon my inability to write a story. Why am I unable to write a story? I think writing is not for me. Should I give up? NO, giving up is never an option.

Aha, that's it! I need some tips to write my story. But who can I ask?

Then I remembered Manik, my classmate. He's known as a literary expert in our school. Many jokingly call him Manik 'Bandopaddhay' (the name of a famous Bengali Author) . Although Manik is a somewhat crazy, he often helps everyone in various things. He won't hesitate to give me some quick tips about writing stories, will he? Apart from that, he submits fantastic stories in our school magazine every year. I heard that our principal also likes his stories very much. It's decided then. I'll go and ask him.

The next morning, I went to school and met Manik. When I asked him to provide me some tips for writing stories, he became overwhelmed with joy - a reaction which I didn't quite expect out of him. In the current era of video games, blockbuster movies and thrilling serials, very few boys discuss literature. He was literally flying in the sky out of happiness, being able to talk some 'literature'. Nevertheless, he gave me many helpful instructions. Some of them were :

* The story will be concise. No need to put additional details.

* The start and end must be abrupt.

* The language of the story should be made as simple as possible.

- and many more. Oh yes, I forgot to mention one of the most important tips. That is, there must be some dramatic effect in the story. When I asked Manik about it, he said, "It's about making a story engaging. I mean, making the story sound like a story, so that everyone can enjoy reading it."

I listened to his explanation and stared at him dumbfounded. I didn't quite understand what he said. Manik immediately realized that a person like me needs easier explanation to understand what he meant.

He gave me a nice example.

"Suppose, you're going home after school. If you walk normally to your home without any incident, you won't have anything to tell. Then that's not a story. But if something worth telling happens on your way home you'll have something to tell. Now, that's a story!"

A brilliant idea lit upon me for writing a story. Besides, Manik told me that if I'm able to write a good story, he will recommend it to the school magazine editorial board. Then I can debut my career as an author. And one day, I'll become a great author. I want to write a story, RIGHT NOW.

But there's another problem - nothing interesting has ever happened in my life. Nah, absolutely nothing. So I have no idea about something interesting. All these time I've lived a very normal life, with zero dramatic effect. Well, then I guess I'll have to do something interesting to write a story.

I spent the whole day in school, thinking about how to produce a 'dramatic effect'. The dramatic effects won't be like the Indian serial, of course. If I write stories imitating Hindi dramas, I will surely be beaten up to the point where I might forget my name. Because, no interesting story is ever made from such tasteless, third class, nonsensical drama. Well, how about following the Bengali drama? It will be worse than the former. Because, most of the Bengali dramas are the 'Made in China' versions of Hindi serial (knock-off product, that is). And the Bengali movies? Ugh, don't even talk about it.

Is there any other options? Yes, English movies. But they're nothing more than a hotchpotch of action scenes, illogical fights and heavy cussing. Hmm, looks like there's no way for me but to experience drama directly, that is, from my own life.

On the way home after school, I found some dogs roaming aimlessly. A question popped up in my mind, "Is it time for a dramatic effect?" What can I do? Step on one of their tails? Nope, I see no drama here except getting chased and bitten badly.

As I was halfway towards home, I noticed the crowd crossing the road direcyly, despite having a footover bridge a little distance away from them. Indeed, this form of carelessness is very mundane in our country. I am a naturally careful person, so I always use the footover bridge. How about I, for the first time, cross the road to be dramatic? Now, while crossing, let's say that I got run over by a truck. With the current traffic situation in the country, where most of the drivers look as if they're driving while on drugs, that wouldn't be a good choice. Simply put, I have no wish to lose my life.

After crossing the road, I came across a well-known alley near my home. Currently, I'm standing in front of a betel leaf and cigarette store. Adults, children, elderly and women, all are buying cigarettes or betel leaves and are consuming them voraciously. No, there is nothing interesting in it. Walking a little farther, I came across a dog which was probably sleeping, with its back towards me. I've decided that I have to do it. Yes, I absolutely have to step on its tail. But I ended up not doing so. Because I'm a careful person. Instead, I kicked the dog with all of my strength and make it fly like a football. The dog tumbled into a nearby pole, unable to control the impact.

The dog didn't take much time to understand what had happened. So, it was running madly towards me. Meanwhile, I was standing there like an idiot. However, I barely escaped the dog's canines, due to my sheer luck. Eventually, I reached my home, the dog still tailing me. Fearing for my life, I slammed the main gate shut. I was out of breath. The dog barked for some time and slammed the gate ferociously with its paws. After some time, it left, being hopeless. And that, dear readers, was my life's first ever dramatic experience.

When I got home, I greeted my mom and my younger sister who's five years old. Then I went to take a bath. At one point in the bath, a sudden thought came to my mind. I started to think whether I can make a drama in the bathroom. Suddenly the soap fell from my hand while pondering upon a potential drama. I proceeded to pick up the soap, but stopped midway. A bright idea came in my mind. How does it feel like to slip by stepping on a soap?

A loud sound was heard.

Hmm, looks like load-shedding has just started. (Temporary discontinuation of electricity) I can't see anything here. I should get out from the bathroom. Load-shedding is one of the major problems in our country. I tried to reach out for the door knob. Then it dawned upon me tha it wasn't load-shedding. I stepped on the bar of soap, for real. And now, I am lying upside down on the bathroom floor, the same way as that dog was. What goes around, comes around.

In any case, I don't think I'm seriously injured. The head barely survived from hitting the tub. But when I tried to get up, I felt excruciating pain in my right leg. It became difficult to move. Even then I propped myself up (after much struggle) and saw that I couldn't properly move my left hand. There is unbearable pain all over my body. And judging by the state that I'm in, I can't even get out. Because I was butt naked. After much thought, I came out of the bathroom with a towel wrapped around my waist. As soon as I got out, my sister saw my condition and ran to tell mom, "Mom, bro fell in the bathroom. I think he's hurt pretty bad."

After a minutes of painful kocomotion, I was lying in bed, with my left hand bandaged and plastered. Nothing was done on the leg, though. I was told to reduce foot movement as much as possible. We have a neighbor named 'Doctor Bhabi' (Miss Doctor). Although I don't know her real name, I do know that she is not a doctor, her husband is. My mom hurriedly called Dr. Bhabi and explained my condition. Knowing about my current situation, she rushed to see me, bringing the first aid box along with her. And yes, now I've got bandages on my nose and lips, too. Because, on the way from the bathroom to my room, another accident happened. Coming very close to the bed, I fell face down due to severe leg pain. This didn't hurt my nose much, but one side of my lips was cut badly.

When my dad came home in the evening, I got the taste of real drama. His left hand was plastered, too! What happened? I asked my mom and came to know that my he got injured at the office bathroom today, breaking his left arm. I was happy deep inside - now both 'father and son' will walk around with plaster on their hands. Just as I was surprised to see my dad's hand injured, he was similarly surprised to see mine. I told my dad that I had deliberately stepped on the soap. I didn't tell mom, though. If I had said so, my mom would have started smacking me for stupidity.

Dad was rolling on the ground, laughing at my stupidity. However, the drama of injuries reached its climax when he told me that he also broke his arm on purpose. He said some colleague tried to impose a hard task upon him. Besides, he couldn't reject him as he was higher in ranking. So, my dad saved himself from the task by deliberately injuring himself. Then he proudly asked, "Aren't I a genius?" Didn’t he just say that it's stupid to break your arm deliberately? Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. In any case, there's nothing to do about it now, is there? We laughed at this incident all night long. At the same time, we promised each other to keep our intentional stupidity a secret from mom. And yes, with the amount of experience I had today, I wrote a quick short story before I went to sleep. Then I promised myself that, I will never - ever - write a story again!

I woke up the next morning and noticed that my whole body was in pain. I thought I would not go to school. Even then I went to school, gritting my teeth all the way. I had to show Manik what a literary genius I have become in just one day. While I was entering through the main gate, the guard was giving me a gaze similar to the gazes I felt from passers-by this morning. The gaze most probably translates into "What happened to this boy? Was he bullied?" I received the same look from the students, too. So, when I entered the class, I handed him my very first (and probably the very last) short story I've ever written, and told him, "Here you go. Read it and tell me how it is."

Manik, holding my few pages, was staring at me with his jaw dropped, "Hey, what happened to you? Looks like you were in a fight."

I replied him with a sarcastic grin, "You mean this? This is just a dramatic effect."

(Transformed from the Bangla story : Natokiyota)

[Thanks for reading. This story was published in our school magazine and I got a medal for it. It was in Bangla, though. I bet I deleted most of the fun from it while translating it into English. So I had to tweak it in different places to bring back the humor. I didn't get any negative reviews from the school on this story. So I thought I'd publish this here. Anyways, hope you enjoyed reading this. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below.]


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KateHardy wrote a review...



Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night(whichever one it is in your part of the world),

Hi! I'm here for a quick review!!

First Impression: Well this was a really interesting read. I loved the concept behind it and the style of humor that you chose wasn't too shabby either although it wasn't quite as funny as it could have been. For the most part, I think this is really well thought out and the details are there to prove it. The plot is quite realistic too well except a couple of parts but I can understand why the exaggerations were needed.

Anyway let's get right to it,

My wish for writing stories, which was asleep for a long time, suddenly awoke. I don't know why, but my urge to write a story reached its limit. All I know is that I must have to write a story.


Interesting opening paragraph. Definitely getting the reader's attention though so that's usually a pretty good thing.

I was lying in bed. It was 11 o'clock at night already. I jumped up from the bed and swiftly approached the reading table. Then pointing the pen over a fresh paper, I took a deep breath. Once you start writing something, it will be written for sure - at least that's what I believe. But how do you start writing something? My overconfidence was shattered within a moment and confusion took a grip of me. The paper looked clean as ever; not a drop of ink was on it. I thought for about ten minutes on what to write. After much brainstorming, I decided to write something. So I calmed myself down and started off by writing a big 'E' in one corner of the white paper. After thinking for a while, I crossed out the letter and wrote another letter. I wrote a big 'O', vocalizing it at the same time. I wanted to write 'once upon a time'. But then my train of thought suddenly crashed into an invisible barrier. Then it got blown to smithereens because of the gunpowder it was carrying.


Well that was quite a sequence of events to happen inside a head by I think its a pretty clever way to show something like writer's block so it was quite fun to read.

And this is how I suffered a burnout by doing absolutely nothing. I looked at the table clock. It was 12 o'clock already. I've got school tomorrow. Getting upset, I rolled up the paper and threw it away. Lying in the bed again, I contemplated upon my inability to write a story. Why am I unable to write a story? I think writing is not for me. Should I give up? NO, giving up is never an option.


Yup, definitely a good idea there by the protagonist, I'm liking where this story is going so far.

Then I remembered Manik, my classmate. He's known as a literary expert in our school. Many jokingly call him Manik 'Bandopaddhay' (the name of a famous Bengali Author) . Although Manik is a somewhat crazy, he often helps everyone in various things. He won't hesitate to give me some quick tips about writing stories, will he? Apart from that, he submits fantastic stories in our school magazine every year. I heard that our principal also likes his stories very much. It's decided then. I'll go and ask him.


That does seem like a decent idea and the little detail of the nickname also is a wonderful addition to make the world of this story seem just that bit more realistic.

The next morning, I went to school and met Manik. When I asked him to provide me some tips for writing stories, he became overwhelmed with joy - a reaction which I didn't quite expect out of him. In the current era of video games, blockbuster movies and thrilling serials, very few boys discuss literature. He was literally flying in the sky out of happiness, being able to talk some 'literature'. Nevertheless, he gave me many helpful instructions. Some of them were :


I really didn't expect it to be that easy for him but I'm not complaining and he does a fair point that not too many people like to discuss that stuff these days.

- and many more. Oh yes, I forgot to mention one of the most important tips. That is, there must be some dramatic effect in the story. When I asked Manik about it, he said, "It's about making a story engaging. I mean, making the story sound like a story, so that everyone can enjoy reading it."


All of these certainly sound like great points there Manik.

"Suppose, you're going home after school. If you walk normally to your home without any incident, you won't have anything to tell. Then that's not a story. But if something worth telling happens on your way home you'll have something to tell. Now, that's a story!"


Okay that is a really good piece of advice. I like that.

But there's another problem - nothing interesting has ever happened in my life. Nah, absolutely nothing. So I have no idea about something interesting. All these time I've lived a very normal life, with zero dramatic effect. Well, then I guess I'll have to do something interesting to write a story.


Not the worst idea but then at the same time it kind of doesn't seem like the best idea either because you don't want to do something silly and unnecessarily dramatic just for a story.

I spent the whole day in school, thinking about how to produce a 'dramatic effect'. The dramatic effects won't be like the Indian serial, of course. If I write stories imitating Hindi dramas, I will surely be beaten up to the point where I might forget my name. Because, no interesting story is ever made from such tasteless, third class, nonsensical drama. Well, how about following the Bengali drama? It will be worse than the former. Because, most of the Bengali dramas are the 'Made in China' versions of Hindi serial (knock-off product, that is). And the Bengali movies? Ugh, don't even talk about it.


Okay looks like this person does have some common sense so their not in danger of getting into serious trouble but we shall see I suppose.

Is there any other options? Yes, English movies. But they're nothing more than a hotchpotch of action scenes, illogical fights and heavy cussing. Hmm, looks like there's no way for me but to experience drama directly, that is, from my own life.


Well, unfortunately true for quite a few but there is the occasional one with logical fights and all that.

On the way home after school, I found some dogs roaming aimlessly. A question popped up in my mind, "Is it time for a dramatic effect?" What can I do? Step on one of their tails? Nope, I see no drama here except getting chased and bitten badly.


I'm starting to like this person now, he does seem a lot more logical than most protagonists.

As I was halfway towards home, I noticed the crowd crossing the road direcyly, despite having a footover bridge a little distance away from them. Indeed, this form of carelessness is very mundane in our country. I am a naturally careful person, so I always use the footover bridge. How about I, for the first time, cross the road to be dramatic? Now, while crossing, let's say that I got run over by a truck. With the current traffic situation in the country, where most of the drivers look as if they're driving while on drugs, that wouldn't be a good choice. Simply put, I have no wish to lose my life.


Well...this isn't the worst thing you could do, although it is pretty risky, a lot of people do manage to pull it off and there not even trying to be dramatic.

After crossing the road, I came across a well-known alley near my home. Currently, I'm standing in front of a betel leaf and cigarette store. Adults, children, elderly and women, all are buying cigarettes or betel leaves and are consuming them voraciously. No, there is nothing interesting in it. Walking a little farther, I came across a dog which was probably sleeping, with its back towards me. I've decided that I have to do it. Yes, I absolutely have to step on its tail. But I ended up not doing so. Because I'm a careful person. Instead, I kicked the dog with all of my strength and make it fly like a football. The dog tumbled into a nearby pole, unable to control the impact.


That is not a very nice thing to do to a dog but I suppose it was the slightly safer option. Now before I instantly become mad at this protagonist for kicking the poor dog, he better do something good. Just kidding

The dog didn't take much time to understand what had happened. So, it was running madly towards me. Meanwhile, I was standing there like an idiot. However, I barely escaped the dog's canines, due to my sheer luck. Eventually, I reached my home, the dog still tailing me. Fearing for my life, I slammed the main gate shut. I was out of breath. The dog barked for some time and slammed the gate ferociously with its paws. After some time, it left, being hopeless. And that, dear readers, was my life's first ever dramatic experience.


I was totally cheering for the dog to get him the whole time but oh well...at least he did have his first dramatic appearance and probably got home a lot faster than he normally wood.

When I got home, I greeted my mom and my younger sister who's five years old. Then I went to take a bath. At one point in the bath, a sudden thought came to my mind. I started to think whether I can make a drama in the bathroom. Suddenly the soap fell from my hand while pondering upon a potential drama. I proceeded to pick up the soap, but stopped midway. A bright idea came in my mind. How does it feel like to slip by stepping on a soap?


That sounds like the beginning of the end in a Final Destination movie, I wouldn't recommend this.

Hmm, looks like load-shedding has just started. (Temporary discontinuation of electricity) I can't see anything here. I should get out from the bathroom. Load-shedding is one of the major problems in our country. I tried to reach out for the door knob. Then it dawned upon me tha it wasn't load-shedding. I stepped on the bar of soap, for real. And now, I am lying upside down on the bathroom floor, the same way as that dog was. What goes around, comes around.


Take that...okay I had to say that come on, kicking a dog is bad.

In any case, I don't think I'm seriously injured. The head barely survived from hitting the tub. But when I tried to get up, I felt excruciating pain in my right leg. It became difficult to move. Even then I propped myself up (after much struggle) and saw that I couldn't properly move my left hand. There is unbearable pain all over my body. And judging by the state that I'm in, I can't even get out. Because I was butt naked. After much thought, I came out of the bathroom with a towel wrapped around my waist. As soon as I got out, my sister saw my condition and ran to tell mom, "Mom, bro fell in the bathroom. I think he's hurt pretty bad."


Well, talk about an unfortunate situation.

After a minutes of painful kocomotion, I was lying in bed, with my left hand bandaged and plastered. Nothing was done on the leg, though. I was told to reduce foot movement as much as possible. We have a neighbor named 'Doctor Bhabi' (Miss Doctor). Although I don't know her real name, I do know that she is not a doctor, her husband is. My mom hurriedly called Dr. Bhabi and explained my condition. Knowing about my current situation, she rushed to see me, bringing the first aid box along with her. And yes, now I've got bandages on my nose and lips, too. Because, on the way from the bathroom to my room, another accident happened. Coming very close to the bed, I fell face down due to severe leg pain. This didn't hurt my nose much, but one side of my lips was cut badly.


I would say poor guy but then he did kind of have it coming for him, on the bright side he now has as much drama as he could probably want.

When my dad came home in the evening, I got the taste of real drama. His left hand was plastered, too! What happened? I asked my mom and came to know that my he got injured at the office bathroom today, breaking his left arm. I was happy deep inside - now both 'father and son' will walk around with plaster on their hands. Just as I was surprised to see my dad's hand injured, he was similarly surprised to see mine. I told my dad that I had deliberately stepped on the soap. I didn't tell mom, though. If I had said so, my mom would have started smacking me for stupidity.


Ahh those last few lines are so true to how things tend to happen in real life...

Dad was rolling on the ground, laughing at my stupidity. However, the drama of injuries reached its climax when he told me that he also broke his arm on purpose. He said some colleague tried to impose a hard task upon him. Besides, he couldn't reject him as he was higher in ranking. So, my dad saved himself from the task by deliberately injuring himself. Then he proudly asked, "Aren't I a genius?" Didn’t he just say that it's stupid to break your arm deliberately? Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. In any case, there's nothing to do about it now, is there? We laughed at this incident all night long. At the same time, we promised each other to keep our intentional stupidity a secret from mom. And yes, with the amount of experience I had today, I wrote a quick short story before I went to sleep. Then I promised myself that, I will never - ever - write a story again!


Full points for dedication to not doing a task I suppose, although that must have been really hard to actually break an arm on purpose, the soap you could at least argue that you can't predict what would happen.

I woke up the next morning and noticed that my whole body was in pain. I thought I would not go to school. Even then I went to school, gritting my teeth all the way. I had to show Manik what a literary genius I have become in just one day. While I was entering through the main gate, the guard was giving me a gaze similar to the gazes I felt from passers-by this morning. The gaze most probably translates into "What happened to this boy? Was he bullied?" I received the same look from the students, too. So, when I entered the class, I handed him my very first (and probably the very last) short story I've ever written, and told him, "Here you go. Read it and tell me how it is."


Oh dear...looks like someone is about to get a lot of advice quite soon.

Manik, holding my few pages, was staring at me with his jaw dropped, "Hey, what happened to you? Looks like you were in a fight."

I replied him with a sarcastic grin, "You mean this? This is just a dramatic effect."


Well that is a lovely punch line.

[Thanks for reading. This story was published in our school magazine and I got a medal for it. It was in Bangla, though. I bet I deleted most of the fun from it while translating it into English. So I had to tweak it in different places to bring back the humor. I didn't get any negative reviews from the school on this story. So I thought I'd publish this here. Anyways, hope you enjoyed reading this. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below.]


The humor was there...I mean it was noticeable but I don't there were too many bits that made me laugh particularly hard so it looks like the humor did get a touch diluted.

Aaaaand that's it for this one.

Overall: Overall I do believe this is a really good story and its no surprise that this received a medal especially because I assume it worked out even better in the language it was originally written in. Well that's about all I've got to say about this piece.

As always remember to take what you think was helpful and forget the rest.

Stay Safe
Harry




AbduBinSaj8 says...


Thank you very much for such a wonderful review. I'm glad you liked it. I was worrying that I'd screw up the story while translating it into English. I'm happy that it worked out fine.



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Mon Nov 02, 2020 8:12 pm
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piyaliarchives says...



Wow, I really liked this short story :) This was a fun and quick read. Definitely put a smile on my face. The fact that you got it published in your school magazine, that's amazing. Envy you cause I get nervous even at the thought of showing my stories to others! Keep up the good work!




AbduBinSaj8 says...


Looks like we're the same. I don't usually publish my stories. But I had to publish this one under my friends' coercion.



AbduBinSaj8 says...


And yes, don't forget to press the like button above the story if you've liked it. Thank you.



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Sat Oct 31, 2020 11:30 pm
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SpunkyMonkey wrote a review...



Hi!

Glows: I LOVED this. You definitely did a good job translating it. It was hilarious. A very good story, and I liked that it was true (or I think it is). You have very rich and precise language.
The storyline flowed pretty well. You explain everything very well. Good job!

Grows: You kinda dragged some of the scenes longer than they should have been. Also, some of your sentences started with hm. This isn’t a good thing. Try to stay away from doing that, unless a character is saying it. But that is pretty much the only problems.

Overall: This was an amazing story. Congrats on the medal by the way! You deserved it.




AbduBinSaj8 says...


Thanks for such a wonderful review. Actually, the scenes which you've found to be longer than expected is considered 'very normal' in our language. Besides, there's nothing true in this story, except that it's translated. It's written from the perspective of an imaginary 'eager beaver' young writer. You're not the only one to think of it as true :)



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the only theft here is of decency when carina decided to rob me of my pride and put me on a banana
— veeren