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A Bond that Started by the Creek: Introduction

by WinterRadio

As the sun was rising above the nearby mountains, the lush forests below got filled with a sweet melody of robins and thrushes. Pleased with the warm air, they sang a wonderful wake-up call, which no one under the cloudless sky was able to ignore. Even the streams and meadows sprang to life, waiting for kind explorers to find them. 

Among such beauty laid a town, not particularly spacious or vast. Nevertheless, it did have everything that a community might need. A couple of colourful shops, squeezed next to each other, a bakery with homemade buns and bagels, a lively theatre, and a reliable post office, to name just a few. 

On that particular day, while the scorching July sun was going up, citizens of Brickwood Peak were getting ready to take care of their morning errands. As usual, some folks rushed to work, while others slowly drank coffee in front of their TVs. Everyone had their own ways of doing things around there. An old lady went to water her flowers, especially the lilies. She dreamily looked up, wondering what adventures were in store for teenagers and children alike. Fridays had a reputation of sparkling very interesting ideas in the heads of young people. At least that's what the TV meteorologist said. 

Some distance away from the town, a cosy little farm was located. The house, which the Bells called home, was painted white. On the crimson roof, you could spot a crooked metal rooster faithfully guarding the place. One of the building's inhabitants was Jaxon - a brilliant boy whose ambition was even greater than the farm's barn. Always dressed in an orange jumper with green stripes, Jaxon looked like a peppy carrot. This fact, however, didn't bother him too much, since he wanted to be noticed as often as possible. Despite his young age, Jaxon constantly tried to seek out ways of improving his family members' lives. Not even the wispy brown hair on his head could stop him from finding something to work on. Being observant came with a price, though. For example, his mother wasn't very pleased when her youngest son suggested she start jogging to lose weight. As it turned out, timing wasn't Jaxon's strong suit. Besides giving advice, the jumper-loving lad also enjoyed coming up with genius ideas. Or at least Jaxon thought they were genius. The rest of his family didn't always agree with his point of view. After all, the handmade "Egg-scooper 5000" wasn't even able to scoop more than two eggs without breaking the shells and spooking the chickens. Jaxon, however, always justified his failures by blaming the first logical thing that came to his mind. "It's not my fault the microwave exploded. I carefully examined the instructions and there wasn't anything about not putting grapes in it." When Jaxon made these types of remarks, his father would give him a pitying smile.

The breadwinner of the Bell family was a kind and hard-working man. In his thirties, he chose to become a farmer after discovering that taking care of animals and plants was his true passion. For Jeremy, picking freshly grown strawberries turned out to be better than being an electrician. 

When the Bells arrived, within the first week or so, it was made quite clear that Jaxon's dad knew what he was doing. His ability to build good-quality structures was spectacular. He required very little help, and many viewed it as a sign of a promising new neighbour that they could count on. During the next couple of years, Mr Bell also started to be recognized for encouraging people to learn new skills. But that trait only applied to "practical things", like changing a tyre or baking bread. He honestly didn't know what to do with his youngest son. Jaxon had determination but lacked dexterity. The only thing his father was able to come up with was saying: "Don't worry, Jaxon. You'll get the hang of it someday." 

But Jaxon's patience was slowly decreasing. He needed a quick yet important achievement to make up for his previous mishaps. Faced with such a demanding task, the boy was completely lost. No idea seemed good enough. Little did he know what shocking news were awaiting him that morning...

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9 Reviews

Points: 687
Reviews: 9

Thu May 02, 2024 11:04 pm
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TOPAWG wrote a review...

➥First impressions💗: Initially, I approached this piece with a hint of skepticism, unsure of what to expect. However, as I delved deeper into the narrative, I found myself increasingly captivated by its charm and warmth. The vivid portrayal of Brickwood Peak and its inhabitants painted a delightful picture, drawing me into their world. Particularly, I was drawn to the character of Jaxon, portrayed not as a mere archetype, but as a fully fleshed-out young boy with boundless ambition—a refreshing depiction of childhood innocence and aspiration. What struck me most was the subtle undercurrent of vulnerability beneath Jaxon's outward confidence, adding depth and nuance to his character. Moreover, the dynamic between Jaxon and his father, Mr. Bell, intrigued me; it was evident that Mr. Bell's passion for farming played a significant role in shaping Jaxon's interests and motivations. Overall, this narrative exudes charm and craftsmanship, capturing the essence of small-town life and the wonder of childhood.

➥Something to think about: Pacing, dialogue, and character development are key aspects that warrant attention. A judicious balance of these elements can transform a good story into something exceptional.

➥Show don’t tell: I know I’m not the first reviewer to say this. Honestly, many writers struggle with this, I as well struggle with this. While the descriptions of the town and its residents are vivid, there are moments where the narrative could benefit from a more nuanced approach. Rather than simply stating character traits, consider illustrating them through actions, dialogue, and internal thoughts. For instance, instead of asserting Mr. Bell's kindness and hard work, allow these qualities to manifest organically through his interactions with others.

➥Dialogue: Dialogue serves as a vital tool for character development and narrative momentum. Incorporating more dialogue, particularly between Jaxon and his family members, can breathe life into the story and provide valuable insight into their relationships. Moreover, dialogue can inject vitality into the narrative, creating moments of tension, humor, and emotional resonance.

➥Conflict and Resolution: While the narrative effectively establishes Jaxon's desire for significant achievements, the resolution feels somewhat abrupt, lacking the buildup and tension necessary for a satisfying payoff. Introducing obstacles or challenges that force Jaxon to confront his limitations can heighten the stakes and create a more compelling narrative arc. This is a hard one—for me anyway, lol, so there’s no shame in a little mess up now and then. Building tension is rather challenging in stories you don’t want to overdo it with long-winded descriptions, dialogues, etc., but you also want to keep the readers on their toes and guessing what’s to come.

How to work on building tension?

1)Establish stakes: make sure your readers understand what’s at risk for your characters.

2)Use Pacing: Short, choppy sentences and fast-paced action scenes (which am guilty of all the time due to laziness) don’t really heighten tension, slower pacing can build anticipation and suspense.

3)Foreshadowing: Drop hints and clues throughout your story that something significant is going to happen.
If you have any other notes to add to my three add them and improve your narrative!

Final say💗🙌🏽: There’s always room for improvement, I hope my review helped you in any way and keep shining and sharing your work! (^·^) if you write and upload any work anywhere else (like Wattpad) let me know!

WinterRadio says...

Wow! Thanks for the feedback! I really appreciate it. I might upload more chapters in the future. (I'm still not sure which writing platform best suits me.)

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66 Reviews

Points: 5296
Reviews: 66

Sat Apr 13, 2024 2:40 am
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Moonlily wrote a review...

Hello Hello, I hope you dont mind me hoping in with a quick review. Overall this seems like it has a chance to be a charming middle-grade type story. It reminds me of the story I would read in school back then however there are a few issues that I feel I must bring up.

First I want to bring up the one that is smaller but took me out of the story. " I mean, the handmade "Egg-scooper 5000" wasn't even able to scoop more than two eggs without breaking the shells and spooking the chickens. " Since this was done in the third person the I mean feels wildly out of place and makes me question the POV I would say to change it to something like after all, or use it in a dialogue. This also plays into my next part.

At the risk of sounding rude, the biggest issue in this is it tells rather than shows a lot. I feel there's a better way to get this information across than saying it point-blank. perhaps we start with the old lady watering her flowers with the tv carrying through the window and that's when we get the Friday line. then we juxtapose that with steam bellowing out the family barn as Jaxsons invention blows up his mother use it goes to talk to him while his father has a guest over. this is where I would put lines about the jogging, the egg grabber and their move, only for his mother to fail to comfort him. I would then show a bit of the dad's talks with guests showing them thanking him before he tries to comfort his son showing how awkward it is. the dad could even use the news as a way to cheer him up.

Please don't get disheartened I am by no means a pro after eight years so it is a long process. Keep writing and drink water!

WinterRadio says...

Thank you for the review! I might think about changing the "I mean (...)" line. (I'm still figuring about my writing style). Also, in the next chapter, there is a lot more dialogue than here. I hope it will make the story more engaging. ^^

WinterRadio says...

* figuring out

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11 Reviews

Points: 760
Reviews: 11

Fri Apr 12, 2024 10:22 am
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Animist1 says...

Hi my name is Animist1, such a great story you wrote here. I hope Jaxon next invention does not not turns into a disaster. And i am waiting for the next episode to come. Anyway Jaxon is a funny kid, putting a grape inside the microwave and expecting positive result. :D waiting for more of the episodes.

If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you.
— Oscar Wilde