Forum: Arts / Fiction

A beginner's story in need of critiquing! (SP?)
By bdancer3333
On Thu Aug 02, 2007 12:37 PM

This is a story that I wrote from a writing prompt. I am just a beginning writer so I would really like to know how to make my work better! Thanks!

Bring the Rain

The sun was beating down on the green grass, soaking up any condensation left from that morning’s rain shower and, it seemed, some of the grass’s green color. All around, the grass was turning browner and the level in the lake was moving down. Most of the lake-goers of the weekend had retired to their houses and the last few were now getting up to go, sweat dripping from their necks and foreheads as they packed their chairs. Even those that had retired early that morning were sweating because their air-conditioning seemed useless against the still heat of the summer.
The little lemonade stand that had been down at the end of the dock all weekend was finally closed up and the store seemed to be welting in the heat. All the flowers were pointed downward toward the brown grass and the brown grass no longer resembled green. The mother who had been packing up chairs down by the lake had collapsed and her kids were pushing her into the hot lake water in hopes of cooling her down. Another neighbor was running toward her with a big bag of ice and a pitcher of water. The woman finally stood back up and headed for her house without even thanking the neighbor.
It seemed that even the ants were moving slowly as the sun rose higher into the sky and made it, if possible, even hotter than it had been moments ago. In the houses, the showers were all coming on and people sighed in relief as they stepped into the cold running water. A few brave children carrying bags of ice hurried down to the lake and more followed. Each child dumped their ice into the section of lake in front of their house, hoping to cool down the lake. Then one brave child jumped into the water and jumped right back out. The heat of the water had been unaffected by the ice bags and, hopes destroyed, the children raced back into their houses to try and escape the heat once more.
Weeks later there had still been no rain and the lake water was slim to none. No one had been out to the lake in weeks except for the old man who came to the water’s edge every single day and prayed for rain. He invited all of his family up to the lake as if it had already rained and he was not just hoping that it would. All the family came out to the lake bearing toys, drinks and snacks and were dressed in their swimsuits. And God sent the rain to fill up the lake, but only the section that was in front on the old man’s house; all other parts of the lake only became more parched as the day grew older.

***DIALOGUE VERSION OF STORY ABOVE!!!***

“Well what good was this morning’s rain shower if the sun is going to take it right back, right Lisa?”
“Sure Dick, whatever you say. But it seems to me that it’s soaking up the green of the grass and the water in the lake. Look at how low it is!”
“Oh Lisa! Quit wiping the sweat off your forehead, you’re wasting time, it’ll only come right back.”
“Look Dick! Those people are finally leaving the lake!”
“Well shoot, they are! They’ll be the last ones to get in their cool houses.”
“No, I think not. Even the people who retired to their houses early this morning are sweating, Dick. It seems that even the air-conditioning is useless against this still, summer heat!”
“Well look here Lisa! Those little people finally closed up them there lemonade stand!”
“Well of course they did Dick! No one is out to buy it and even if they were it’d be too hot to sit out there selling!”
“Look at them there flowers Lisa!”
“Well of course they’re pointing down Dick! They haven’t had any water, only sun! And look, I was right! The sun sucked up all the green from the grass!”
“What grass? You mean that brown stuff? You sure it’s grass Lisa?”
“Sure I’m sure Dick. Oh dear! Look Dick! See that mom who was packing her lawn chairs down by the lake?”
“Yup. Oh no Lisa! Look! She fell over!”
“She collapsed Dick! And if her kids think that the lake water will cool her off, they sure have that backwards! It’s hotter in the lake than out!”
“Kids! Stop pushin’ your mama into that lake! She’ll burn up!”
“Oh Dick! Stop yelling! They can’t hear you! Oh look, someone’s brought her some ice and water! Thank goodness!”
“How could she?! That lady saved her life and she blew her off! And she’s just heading back to her house like hot stuff! I’ll teach you them there manners little miss!”
“Dick! Stop! It’s none of your business!”
“Hey look! Ants!”
“Dick!”
“No Lisa! Look how slowly they’re moving, as slow as everything else!”
“Well look how high the sun is Dick; it’s not getting any cooler!”
“Aww! Listen Lisa! Hear that? What is it?”
“Oh Dick, everyone’s getting in their showers to cool off!”
“Oh golly Lisa! Look here! Them there children are cooling down at the lake!”
“Now really Dick! A few bags of ice cool down the whole lake? Even a glacier wouldn’t cool down that water! I’m surprised it isn’t boiling yet…oh no! What is that little boy doing!?”
“All right little fella! You show ‘em! Jump in that water and…”
“Well it seems I was right; the ice obviously didn’t help, right Dick?”
“Right Lisa. Well since their hopes have been crushed like me in a football game, it seems only right that they should be headin’ back inside, don’t it Lisa?”
“Sure Dick. Back inside to try and escape the heat once more, that’ll boost their spirits.”

***WEEKS LATER***

“Mornin’ Lisa! Still been no rain?”
“Of course not Dick! Look! The lake water’s slim to none! And I haven’t seen anyone out there for weeks!”
“What ‘bout him Lisa? Who’s he?”
“Oh, that’s Mr. James Laughlin. Comes down to the lake every day to pray for rain.”
“Oh so that’s the fella who invited up his family, not that there’s anythin’ to do.”
“Well he expects it to rain doesn’t he Dick?”
“Sure Lisa! Look, there’s them now! There sure is a bunch of ‘em; ain’t it true Lisa?”
“Yes Dick, 32 at last count.”
“And look Lisa! They’re all in their swimsuits and they’ve got snacks and toys and drinks and HOLY CANOLLI LISA! LOOK AT THIS!”
“Wow Dick! It seems God answered Mr. Laughlin’s prayers, didn’t he? Look at that rain!”
“But it’s only fillin’ up in front of the old guy’s house Lisa! How come?”
“Well Dick, isn’t it obvious? He’s the only one who believed that the rain would come and God saw that and honored it. He’s filling the old man’s lake but the rest of the lake is only becoming more parched.”
“Well that’s a miracle if I ever seen one! Touchin’ Lisa, ain’t it?”
“Sure is Dick, sure is.”

3 Replies to A beginner's story in need of critiquing! (SP?)

re: A beginner's story in need of critiquing! (SP?)
By enlair89
On Tue Aug 21, 2007 12:15 PM
It's very descriptive. I think its a good beginning effort. My biggest advice would be to mix the dialogue in with the paragraphs about it!
re: A beginner's story in need of critiquing! (SP?)
By Silent_Dancer13
On Sat Aug 25, 2007 08:49 AM
I like it, it's a good start. Mix the dialogue with the description and it will be even better.

One thing - this is just my opinion, others may think differnt - re-read the dialogue. You repeat the character's names a lot. In real life I don't think you would say the names that often. Just a thought. :)
re: A beginner's story in need of critiquing! (SP?)
By bdancer3333
On Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:42 PM
Thanks so much for your help! I will go and try your suggestions ASAP!

:)

bdancer3333

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