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China story

by Annasutton

My name is Diaoyu and I am 13 years old. I live in Northern China in Henan at Kaifeng. I have a wealthy family. My father is the emperor , and my mom is the empress. I didn't have many friends but my best friend was a servant and her name was Su. On the weekend, Su and I would play together. Su lives with me but in the smallest part of the palace. My father never talked to me because he was so busy working on inventing economic changes, which made the Song dynasty so great. My mother is really pretty, nice to people, and has black silky hair. Su and another servant mostly serve me and my mother. Su is the one that serves me food. I usually ate noodles, chicken, pork, rice, and tea.

One day as I was heading to a class to become a scholar, I noticed that my father was treating all of his servants badly including Su. After class, I found Su crying in my room while making my bed. I told her that I was going to run away because I don't want to see my father treat her poorly. Su wanted to run away with me. That night we got all the stuff we needed. I grabbed a sufficient amount of yen, food, and clothes that were not made out of silk. After Su and I left, we walked down the road for a mile, and then stopped to sleep.

The next morning we walked some more and came across the Xiaohe river.On the side of the river, there was a boat that had a hole in it. Su and I fixed it so we could travel down the river. We went down the stream for a while and came across a canal lock. This helped us go down stream. I didn’t know how to use a canal lock but this man came, and he knew how to use it. The canal lock and the man helped us down the river. After the canal lock spit us out, we sailed some more. During our sail we saw many farmers plowing and using harrows on their rice farms. We eventually found a town. In that town, we stopped for food and supplies. We went to a restaurant where we had tea, some chicken, and tons fish. After we were done eating, we went to get supplies. Majority of the people in the town were poor, and there were numerous vegetable stands. It was getting dark so we camped out for the night. The next day I went to find a job because I didn't have enough money. I wanted to work the canal lock because I thought it would be useful if I knew how to use it. I ended up getting a job at operating the canal lock. After I was done working I received my paycheck, and I left.

The next day I bought a paddlewheel boat. This boat was an upgrade from the last boat. This allowed me to travel faster. Su and I decided to continue our adventure. As we floated, we saw the segmental arch bridge. The arch bridge was a half circle and it was a new type of bridge, and it made it flatter and broader. We were able to go underneath it. We had been sailing for a couple of days, and we finally found another town.

In the town, there were many new industries. The people mass-produced dishes, porcelain, bowls,and vases. The people that mass-produced chose colors that make the dishes, bowls, vases very appealing. They also glazed their porcelain products. There were poor people too. Su and I went to buy vegetables and when we were walking back we saw an old woman fall. We went to go help the old woman. We walked her back to her house. After that old woman invited us to dinner because we helped her.

The old woman’s name was Mei, and she let us stay the night. The next day Mei offered breakfast to Su and I. Mei said that we could live with her but we have to get a job. I found a job being a printer. I was to draw symbols or characters on paper. Su was to glue the paper to the wood and let it dry. This was called woodblock printing. Then Su would carve out the wood around it and that leaves the characters to rise on the wood. When we were done we went to Mei’s house. We had that job for months and it got pretty boring.

One week after that we decided to go away to find a different job because we thought it would be fun to try something new. Instead of sailing, we decided to walk to our next destination. It took us a long journey to get to the next town. When we got to town they looked to find a job. We found a field and a lot of women that were working in it. Su and I went to go check it out because we were curious about the job. After the people were done working in the fields they went to go make tea with the leaves. Su and I went back to the town to get food for dinner.After we talked about the job we wanted to sleep on it.

The next day we went back to the fields to see if there were job openings. There were jobs open, we had to work in the fields, but we were fine with it. We thought this job could be permanent. Su and I decided when we make enough money, we should get a house near by because we enjoy and want to stick with this job. Somedays we will have enough leaves that they can just make tea without getting the leaves. Su’s job was to work in the fields and help people find the tea they want.

After two months of work we had saved up enough money to buy a house nearby. After we bought the house we went back to the place where we grew up. When we went back my mother and father were so worried about both of us because they didn’t know where we went. My parents thought we came back to stay but they were wrong. Su and I told them that we bought a house and that we were going to live there now. my parents got mad so they banned us from leaving. I told them I was willing to give up all of the family’s wealth so I can be a normal teenage girl. When My parents heard what I had to say they let Su and I go back to our home.Our home is where we can live a normal life.  

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Random avatar

Points: 408
Reviews: 4

Mon Mar 14, 2016 4:44 pm
KylaGreenhut wrote a review...

. I really like your story it has a lot of historical content and is very descriptive. I do wonder if you could have a little bit more show not tell in it though. I wonder if you could have a little bit more of an interesting tittle. Maybe you could talk a little bit more about the escape. I also wonder if you could be a little bit more careful with the tenses. Over all I liked you story a lot. I also like how you has so much excitement in it because that made it a lot more interesting.

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Points: 381
Reviews: 4

Fri Mar 11, 2016 4:44 am
1OREO1 wrote a review...

This story is very good and interesting. I would change the title but other that that it is great. Their is lot of excitement. Once you start reading it's pretty hard to stop because it just keeps talking about what's about to happen. If you change the title to a catch title then I think this story would be very wonderful

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Points: 440
Reviews: 4

Fri Mar 11, 2016 4:31 am
christithething wrote a review...

I really love this story and all of the characters. Su and Diaoyu were very bright and cheerful, I like that they were brave enough to run away, I wish we could have read more about their escape though. Mai seemed like a very cool character and I wonder if you could have wrote more about her, but other than that this is really amazing. Keep up the good work and keep on writing stories

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Points: 240
Reviews: 0

Fri Mar 11, 2016 3:26 am
SashaT says...

I like how much historical content you have. One thing that I wonder, though, is if you could have been more careful with the tenses; some of the story was past tense and some was present tense. But overall I really enjoyed this story, good job!

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Points: 240
Reviews: 0

Fri Mar 11, 2016 12:19 am
jf60338 says...

I love all the historical elements and the good details! I wonder though if your title would be more creative!
Great story overall though! :)

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Points: 371
Reviews: 4

Wed Mar 09, 2016 7:31 pm
TheSquid says...

I wounder if you could not make the sentience more complex. And not to make this story so one event after another. Good story over all!

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11 Reviews

Points: 1299
Reviews: 11

Wed Mar 09, 2016 1:57 am
Ellesegar wrote a review...

Hey... so it's Ellesegar here to do a review for your work! So without further ado, let the reviewing begin.:)

You really need a good hook. Just that sentence as a starter doesn't really capture the reader's attention.

You also need to distinguish which tense you write in. You use am, then have, then didn't. Totally different tenses.

Also, you need to use more punctuation. Make sure you read through each and every sentence, seeing where you naturally pause to figure out where you need to use commas. You could also visit this site to help with that:

I would change the third sentence. I wouldn't say "I have a wealthy family.", I would say, "I come from a wealthy family."

If you say father, you should probably say mother. If you say mom, you should probably say dad, so I would pick just one variation.

When you talk about the canal lock, and the man who helped them, you should describe him in detail. What he looked like, how he talked, if he immediately helped, or if they had to ask him.

Honestly, this piece has a lot of work to do. But you can do it. I know it. Great job though!

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1238 Reviews

Points: 35807
Reviews: 1238

Tue Mar 08, 2016 9:47 pm
niteowl wrote a review...

Hi there Annasutton and welcome to YWS! Niteowl here to review this story.

Overall, I like the idea behind this. You clearly want to show a lot of aspects of imperial Chinese culture through Diaoyu and Su's adventures, which is really cool. However, a lot of events happen that seem extremely unlikely, which takes the reader out of the story. For example, wouldn't the Emperor's daughter have people looking for her almost immediately after she disappeared? And I also don't believe daughters would be going to class to become scholars (though you may have sources to prove me wrong). It also seems like the princess adapts to all these different jobs and working hard a little too well.

If I were rewriting this, I would start with some action, possibly Su getting treated poorly by the Emperor. What you have now is a lot of information in the first paragraph, which isn't going to get the reader as interested as some dialogue or action. I would reveal the necessary information as it comes up in the story...for example, maybe Su and Diaoyu have a conversation about leaving, and Su questions if Diaoyu is truly ready to give up the wealth and privilege of being the Emperor's daughter.

I would also consider having this story end much sooner, as the princess would likely be caught much faster than the months that go on in the story. Another question: wasn't foot-binding a prominent practice by the Song dynasty? That would probably slow the main character down significantly.

Instead, I would focus on all the possible interesting relationships you have here: between Diaoyu and Su, between Diaoyu and her parents, and between the girls and anyone who might be caught aiding them in their escape. You could show a lot more with description and dialogue and make the characters feel more realistic.

Overall, I think you have a lot of ideas, but I would focus on showing a few of them in more detail rather than trying to talk about everything you've learned about China in one story. Keep writing and welcome again to YWS! :D

My tongue must tell the anger of my heart, or else my heart, concealing it, will break...
— Katherine, The Taming of the Shrew