Young Writers Society

Home » Literary works » Short Story » Mystery / Suspense

E - Everyone

Step One: Ordinary world

by Andrewknorpp


 What I was least warned about in life was not knowing. They told me all about pain, sorrow, and human weakness. But they hadn't fully explained to me how little I would know all of the time. I can deal with the other imperfections of the universe if I understand them. If you understand a problem, then you can solve it or know it is unsolvable. That is why my entire life I have sought to know, I have questioned, researched, and extrapolated. If I could only understand everything, then it would all be bearable.

   The first time I truly experienced the lack of understanding was at the age of four. Finding my mother crying one morning for no apparent reason. It was confusing to have this sturdy, unbreakable person, broken. I asked her what was wrong. She had tried to explain through her sobs, but I didn't understand. I couldn't understand. I was only four. I cried with her then, and not because she was crying, but because I didn't know why.

   Not knowing followed me throughout the rest of my life. Not knowing how to do math in elementary school. Not knowing why I needed to in middle school.

   "Why won't anyone tell me how we actually use line graphs? There must be a use, or we wouldn't have them!" I might cry to my friends. My greatest frustration was when people didn't explain things adequately or, when they acted like something didn't need explaining, 'because that's just how it is.' "Everything needs explaining. Not one thing is this darn beautifully confusing universe is, 'just how it is.' No question should ever be answered with, 'just because.'" I would say again and again to my two very endearing friends.

   If you want to understand our journey of learning, you must know the people involved in it. Our small but tight group was made up of three friends, Kurt, Nora, and me, Clark. Our opinions on incomprehension varied widely.

   Nora, unlike me, reveled in it. Mystery was her best friend and dreaming her second. Nora wanted to understand how little we understood. She studied history, particle-science, black holes, paleontology, and the human mind. But what she liked most was myth and fantasy. Nora loved the mistiness of it. The idea that living under every tree stump could be a gnome. That over the next ocean could be a land inhabited by the spirits of things forgotten.

  Though she preferred possibilities over reality, we shared a love of questions. Nora was wise enough to know that every truthful explanation actually brought more questions and more possibilities.

   Then there was Kurt. Out of us three, he probably had the healthiest relationship with not knowing. Kurt, too, liked to know things. He enjoyed the process of becoming proficient at a subject or skill, but not knowing something didn't bother him much. Kurt knew what he knew, and he knew what he didn't, and he didn't mind that. Kurt could build a car out of only pieces, and that's all that really mattered to him. He treated knowledge like any other resource. He only gained more of it if needed, and if he didn't, there was no reason to be greedy.

   We had all met at the library when we were around eleven. Nora and I spent lots of time at the library. I was there research some subject or another, and she spent half of her life reading a mountain of fiction. So, it wasn't hard for Kurt to be noticed by both of us when he came. We saw him trying to find and check out a book on how to make a boomerang. That captured all of our eleven-year-old interests, so a friendship was born.


Note: You are not logged in, but you can still leave a comment or review. Before it shows up, a moderator will need to approve your comment (this is only a safeguard against spambots). Leave your email if you would like to be notified when your message is approved.







Is this a review?


  

Comments



User avatar
964 Reviews


Points: 108750
Reviews: 964

Donate
Thu Sep 03, 2020 9:42 am
View Likes
HarryHardy wrote a review...



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

Hi! I'm here to review on of your works courtesy of the checklist challenge.

First Impression: Overall this is a pretty decent start to a story. I only have a couple of slightly nitpicky thing that I've pointed out down below. Its for the most part written really well and it does a good job as a story overall. There is a clear sort of idea behind it. There doesn't seem to be a plot though and not too much of a hook to keeping reading parts if you see what I mean. Like there doesn't appear to be much to look forward to.

Anyway let's get right to it,

What I was least warned about in life was not knowing. They told me all about pain, sorrow, and human weakness. But they hadn't fully explained to me how little I would know all of the time. I can deal with the other imperfections of the universe if I understand them. If you understand a problem, then you can solve it or know it is unsolvable. That is why my entire life I have sought to know, I have questioned, researched, and extrapolated. If I could only understand everything, then it would all be bearable.


Wow that is some pretty deep thoughts to start off a story but okay its some pretty cool ideas and a lot of synonyms there. Someone busted out a thesaurus.

The first time I truly experienced the lack of understanding was at the age of four. Finding my mother crying one morning for no apparent reason. It was confusing to have this sturdy, unbreakable person, broken. I asked her what was wrong. She had tried to explain through her sobs, but I didn't understand. I couldn't understand. I was only four. I cried with her then, and not because she was crying, but because I didn't know why.


Umm those are maybe a little too complicated for the thoughts of a four year old or is this person somehow smarter than the average person. I don't quite see a four year old questioning why their mother is upset but I suppose its not a big deal and I could just be wrong.

"Why won't anyone tell me how we actually use line graphs? There must be a use, or we wouldn't have them!" I might cry to my friends. My greatest frustration was when people didn't explain things adequately or, when they acted like something didn't need explaining, 'because that's just how it is.' "Everything needs explaining. Not one thing is this darn beautifully confusing universe is, 'just how it is.' No question should ever be answered with, 'just because.'" I would say again and again to my two very endearing friends.


Well that is certainly an interesting philosophy to consider there.

If you want to understand our journey of learning, you must know the people involved in it. Our small but tight group was made up of three friends, Kurt, Nora, and me, Clark. Our opinions on incomprehension varied widely.


Is it me or do those names also belong to actual superheroes too...

Nora, unlike me, reveled in it. Mystery was her best friend and dreaming her second. Nora wanted to understand how little we understood. She studied history, particle-science, black holes, paleontology, and the human mind. But what she liked most was myth and fantasy. Nora loved the mistiness of it. The idea that living under every tree stump could be a gnome. That over the next ocean could be a land inhabited by the spirits of things forgotten.


Well those definitely are some nice things to be thinking about. Although at this point I'm not too sure why we are being told all of this just straight up if we're going to have more parts because spreading details like this over several chapters is usually the smart thing to do.

Then there was Kurt. Out of us three, he probably had the healthiest relationship with not knowing. Kurt, too, liked to know things. He enjoyed the process of becoming proficient at a subject or skill, but not knowing something didn't bother him much. Kurt knew what he knew, and he knew what he didn't, and he didn't mind that. Kurt could build a car out of only pieces, and that's all that really mattered to him. He treated knowledge like any other resource. He only gained more of it if needed, and if he didn't, there was no reason to be greedy.


That seems like a very nice mindset to have there although again a little too much describing his personality. If there is more to this I'd expect all that to be conveyed across a few parts rather than in one single part.

We had all met at the library when we were around eleven. Nora and I spent lots of time at the library. I was there research some subject or another, and she spent half of her life reading a mountain of fiction. So, it wasn't hard for Kurt to be noticed by both of us when he came. We saw him trying to find and check out a book on how to make a boomerang. That captured all of our eleven-year-old interests, so a friendship was born.


That should be researching and also I think you could maybe umm describe this a little more. This sounds like a pretty important step in his life and its been mentioned almost in passing here.

Aaaaand that's it for this one.

Overall: And that's it for this one. I think I covered pretty much everything I had to say by this point. Just a few possible changes that I suggested. Overall it was a pretty decent story to read. I think I might just go read the rest as well.

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

Stay Safe
Harry

Image




Andrewknorpp says...


Thanks for the review! I defiantly am telling a lot in this page rather than showing, that's something I need to edit.
Also, on the part about the four-year-old; I actually had an experience like that when I was around four. I found my mother crying and it was really upsetting that (A, my mom could cry and be broken like that, and (B, there were bad things in the world that could make you cry, that I didn't understand. Maybe I explained that badly in this page! Again, thanks for the review!



HarryHardy says...


You're Welcome!!
:D
Ohh well I guess four year old me was just really dumb and can't remember much from when I was younger (like lol 17 year old can't remember his 12 year old self when he can remember 14 digits of pi)



Andrewknorpp says...


That's mood.



HarryHardy says...


:D



User avatar
56 Reviews


Points: 4734
Reviews: 56

Donate
Sun May 31, 2020 1:41 am
kattee wrote a review...



Hello there!

This seems interesting. However (I know you've explained that you're publishing the story per page), it seems off-putting to end a "step" by introducing your friends. I saw your explanation regarding the length of this story and this is basically the exposition, but why label it "step one"? When I read that, I thought you'd be dividing your short story into a series of steps, which is equivalent to a chapter in a novel. And usually, they aren't supposed to end abruptly. They should've at least a minor conclusion in it. After reading this, it left me with the question "what are you trying to say in this story?" "what is the message?" I suggest that you end it with something connected to your introduction. To a question that continues to haunt him.

Second, I would like to echo Jesse's comment about the characters. I suggest that instead of introducing them all in one chapter, show their personalities through events. You don't need to showcase it all at once. In fact, it would be much better if you split them throughout your story.

Third, the contradicting personality of Clark. You characterized him as this curious fellow who sought to understand everything about the universe. He's easily irritated about things he couldn't quite understand. The paragraph regarding her mother and his inability to empathize with him is understandable. Human emotions are the most difficult thing to comprehend. However, in the lines,

"Why won't anyone tell me how we actually use line graphs? There must be a use, or we wouldn't have them!" I might cry to my friends. My greatest frustration was when people didn't explain things adequately or, when they acted like something didn't need explaining, 'because that's just how it is.'


He doesn't act like someone who would pursue knowledge, he acts like he wanted people to feed it to him. Using line graphs is pretty basic compared to undergoing studies like quantum physics or general relativity. He could simply use the steps he undertake from the lines:

That is why my entire life I have sought to know, I have questioned, researched, and extrapolated.


To understand how line graphs are used. I have not met anyone who knows how to use line graphs that would explain them as "because that's just how it is." Line graphs don't emerge out of nothing, it's conceptualized by Man, thus it's based on logic.

That is all I can say for now. I didn't really focus on your grammar and punctuation because I think you should first fix the most important part of the story: the content. I hope my review helped you :) You have so much potential in you so keep on writing!
Best regards,
Kattee x




Andrewknorpp says...


Thanks for the review! I will definitely try to make it less exposition like. The reason it may feel that way and the reason it ends so abruptly is because its not organized into chapters, this is basically a test of A) can I use every step of the hero journey exactly as described, and (B, how much story can I squeeze into a small space? No sentence can be wasted so it's hard to explain the character purely through their actions, but that is a challenge that I would like to take on!



kattee says...


I found out that you'd be writing a chapter per page to follow the steps of the hero's journey. Wow, are you sure about that? Although it is a great challenge, remember that the quality of your writing is on the line. Anyway, you can do it!



User avatar
174 Reviews


Points: 3050
Reviews: 174

Donate
Tue May 12, 2020 3:52 pm
JesseWrites wrote a review...



Hello, Jesse here to review.

GENERAL OPINION-

I can't really see how this ends well. It kind of struck on and boom. An ending. This is the first bit, so I can't really say much besides it is very short.

GRAMMAR AND SPELLING-

Kurt Nora and me, Clark.


Comma alert!

Kurt, Nora, and me, Clark.

Nora and I spent lots of time at the library, I researching some subject or another, and she spent half of her life reading a mountain of fiction.


Just researching instead.

PUNCTUATION-

Nothing with periods, question marks, or quotations I see.

ORGANIZATION-

Alright. It's not great, but i can't complain. The flow was disrupted with the sentence above.^

It is quite fast.

CHARACTERS-

I saw a lot of people with interesting backgrounds. It was kind of dumped on though. Kurt is the most redeeming.

OTHER-

Nothing. I cleared it up.

SUGGESTIONS-

To slow down your pace.

Farewell for now,
Jesse.




Andrewknorpp says...


Thanks for the review! I will be sure to correct this grammatical errors. It may feel a bit like nothing right now, it%u2019s just the first page of a longer short story. It also may be rushed, and I%u2019ll try to make it feel less so, but I am trying to only write in page for each step of the hero%u2019s journey, so that may prove difficult. But that%u2019s the fun part of a challenge right? Thanks, and memento Mori!



User avatar
62 Reviews


Points: 1152
Reviews: 62

Donate
Mon May 11, 2020 2:39 pm
BhavyaMehta123 wrote a review...



Hi! First of all, welcome to YWS. I hope you have a lovely time here.I liked this short story. Personally, I resonate with you and Nora. I too like mystery but that maths thing and that reasoning thing is totally me. So, this helped me enjoy the story a lot more as I found it relatable. I feel it is a well- written and nice story.
A grammatical mistake which I found . I feel the sentence, " I researching some subject or another" This sentence needs restructuring.You can do if you feel like doing so.Totally, upto you.
I feel this was a great story. Personally, I enjoyed it. All the best for future works and keep writing!
From: Bhavya




Andrewknorpp says...


Thanks! Yeah, Kurt is who I want to be, but in reality I am Nora and Clark.





I agree Kurt is someone we all want to be at some point. :)




If it wasn't for poetry, I couldn't express myself.
— Rosendorn