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Brought together by book and dog

by Carlito


I wrote this last year in my English Composition class. We had to think of a six word short story, make that our title, and then write a short, short story.

She sat on her porch on a sunny afternoon reading her favorite book. Her parents were inside arguing again. The sun was in her eyes and there was no breeze. The bottoms of her legs were stuck to her chair and she was covered in sweat. She was hungry and parched but didn’t want to go inside to her parents. She wasn’t in the mood.

He needed some fresh air. He had been watching football all day and was sick of sitting on the couch. His dog was looking out the window, longing. The boy snapped her leash on and took her outside. It was nice to finally stretch his legs he thought as he took the dog around the block. The dog did her business by her favorite tree and the boy started the walk back to his house. The dog had other plans. It led the boy down another street, then another. He didn’t complain. It was nice to be in the fresh air.

She finished her chapter and looked down her deserted, dead end street. No one ever walked down here.

He continued to follow his dog as she led him down yet another street, this one was a dead end. Great. He thought. What is she up to now?

She saw a boy and a dog come onto her street. As he got closer she realized she knew him from somewhere.

He started down the street and saw a girl sitting on her porch. He knew her from somewhere. The dog led the boy to the sidewalk in front of her house. He could hear yelling inside.

She saw him stop in front of her house. She heard glass breaking inside. Great.

He wondered what was going on. The dog ran up the porch steps to the girl. The boy had no choice to follow.

She was shocked that he was now standing on her porch. The yelling got even louder.

“Parents?” He guessed.

She nodded.

“Wanna take a break?” He asked.

“Sure.” She answered. After peeling her legs off of her chair she carefully set her book down, and followed the boy and his dog.


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Tue Sep 03, 2019 6:12 pm
Tuckster wrote a review...



First off, I am so sorry for this review. One of the challenges on the checklist was to review something posted before 2010, and I wanted to review the work of someone who was still active so that my review would be useful. However, I understand that you've changed and grown a lot as a writer since 2008, so I hope that I'll still be able to help present-day you improve with my suggestions.

Anyway, let's jump into it.

I won't bother with grammatical nitpicks but will instead jump right into the review. The first thing I noticed is that there isn't a lot of separation between voices, which made the narrative more confusing to me. It's hard to tell what perspective we're hearing from when, and it switches so much in so little time that it's hard to keep track of who we're following. For the first two paragraphs, I actually liked the separation. It showed their two separate beginnings, independent characters and motivations, and, in a way, gave a roadmap for where the story was going—these two seemingly unconnected characters will cross paths, somehow, by some twist of fate. However, I think there needs to be some formatting change made to show that these are two separate POVs so that the storyline doesn't become convoluted.

She was shocked that he was now standing on her porch.


So two points here: 1) why is she shocked? It seems pretty straightforward to me. He's walking his dog, and the dog is (apparently) not very well trained, so he's being pretty much dragged by his dog, and it happens to lead him to her front porch. 2) Show, don't tell. I know that this is very common writing advice, but rather than telling us that she was shocked, show us the raise of her eyebrows, the way she jumps when she sees him, maybe the way she tenses as he approaches. That's way more powerful than just saying "he was shocked".

But overall, I liked how short this was. You didn't overly complicate things by loading us down with details, but you also did a good job engaging multiple senses in describing the environment—the sweat on her legs, the sound of her parents arguing inside, the feel of the hot, dry sun. The idea behind this is also clever and thought-provoking, the idea that we cross paths with so many strangers, and any one of them could and does change the course of our lives. That's a concept that's always fascinated me to think about, and I think you did a good job capturing and illustrating it with so few words. So, kudos for that!

Again, apologies for digging up a work this old. You can blame alliyah :) If you have any questions, just let me know, and I'll be happy to help clear up any confusion!

All my best,
Tuck




Carlito says...


Okay seeing this notification made me laugh. SOPHOMORE YEAR OF HIGH SCHOOL CARLITO WROTE THIS. (it's also bananas that I've been here this long. I think this was one of the first things I posted!) I'll always love this story though because the teacher I had who assigned this story really encouraged me as a writer.

Thank you so much Tuck for the well thought out review!! <3



Tuckster says...


o.o I just realized something.

You were the same age as I am now when you wrote this.

hope this doesn't make you feel old

and you're totally welcome!



Carlito says...


Image



Carlito says...


delete the one that didn't work if you want :p

trying again. (it's more funny since i'm old and now i can't make the internet do what i want :p)
Image



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Sat Oct 04, 2008 11:48 pm
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KailaMarie wrote a review...



I thought this was cute. I liked how they both just kind of wanted to escape.

The only thing is, where do they know each other from? If you're going to add the "That person seemed familiar" part, then you should explain why they were familiar to each other.

And I liked the ending. It left you hanging, making you imagine what might happen next. Very nice.




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Sat Sep 06, 2008 8:32 pm
alwaysawriter wrote a review...



Hi tnmes22. I know you're probably not going to make any changes but I thought I'd review it anyway and because it's so short, it may be harsh.

Grammatically, I saw nothing wrong. Your sentences, however, bothered me:

She sat on her porch on a sunny afternoon reading her favorite book. Her parents were inside arguing again. The sun was in her eyes and there was no breeze. The bottoms of her legs were stuck to her chair and she was covered in sweat. She was hungry and parched but didn’t want to go inside to her parents. She wasn’t in the mood.
You ramble here. Maybe make it a little less ramble-like?

He needed some fresh air. He had been watching football all day and was sick of sitting on the couch. His dog was looking out the window, longing. The boy snapped her leash on and took her outside. It was nice to finally stretch his legs he thought as he took the dog around the block. The dog did her business by her favorite tree and the boy started the walk back to his house. The dog had other plans. It led the boy down another street, then another. He didn’t complain. It was nice to be in the fresh air.
Once again, ramble. The sentences were short and choppy too so unless they're for some sort of effect, try combining some of them together.

She finished her chapter and looked down her deserted, dead end street.
If it just ends, it wouldn't be a street, it would be a cul-de-sac.

Great. He thought. What is she up to now?
Put Great in italics because you want to separate it from the rest and show that he's thinking and do the same for What Is She Up To Now?

She heard glass breaking inside. Great.
Put Great in italics for the reason listed above.

“Sure.” She answered. After peeling her legs off of her chair she carefully set her book down, and followed the boy and his dog.
Eh, that was an okay ending.

To stop rambling as much, only write what needs to be there. If it doesn't need to be there, don't add it.

PM me if you need anything.

-alwaysawriter





He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how.
— Friedrich Nietzsche