Sunday, February 2, 2014

Submitting your Story

As I have said before I am almost done with my first story. I made a deal with my friend last year at LDStorymakers that we would both submit our current WIP in the First Chapter Contest. I remember thinking, “No problem, I will have it finished in no time. Of course life can get in the way. For me, I always make family first. Unfortunately I even sometimes make laundry and dishes first as well. (I am working on that). If I am going to succeed and accomplish things I have to make more sacrifices. I just realized how soon my submission has to be in so this week I have been working really hard on that first chapter. I am submitting it on the deadline date, Monday (tomorrow). I am not entering the contest because I think I am going to win. I want advice and feedback by doing the contest. I want to say that I tried. One more stepping stone to that goal of having a published story. Have you entered any contests? Any advice for me?

I thought that I would post a few of my paragraphs from my first chapter and I am open to any advice or tips. This is a historical fiction that is based on my grandparents. I would love it to be Non-Fiction, but I had to fill in the gaps from my grandparents’ memories. Thank you! I appreciate any feedback and experiences you can share. 

The Hope Chest

A WWII Story about Faith, Love and Hope



Jerry  1945

At the foot of  Mount Surabachi, I was afraid to dream.

            “You have two orders,” My commanding officer told us. “Stay awake, and fire at anything above ground that moves.”

            Unholy sounds of gunfire and mortar echoed overhead. Crammed into a little hole, I realized trying to keep my eyes open was a horrible torture. It had been three days and three nights since I slept. My hole-mate and I wanted it to be over. It was to a point that I had to sleep.  I had nothing more to lose.              

            Nightmares were a constant and torturing reality for many soldiers. We were already living a nightmare, why should we have to suffer in our sleep as well. On the other hand, perhaps, with some luck and a blessing from heaven, I might actually get to dream about Merle. I missed her so much. I gave in. An instant upon closing my eyes, sleep overtook my body.


Our Story begins

Jerry  1940

            The summer of 1940 ended; the delicate leaves changed from green to the deep red and gold hues of autumn. Several serene trees enveloped the area at Fairmont Park, but it was the glowing Cottonwood trees that really made the park so glorious. It was our place to go and get away from the world to feel safe. Fairmont was very different from the hustle and bustle of Liberty Park. I don’t know why, but I preferred the tranquil nature of Fairmont best. Although we were surrounded by members of Merle’s church ward, I still felt secluded, like we were the only two people in the world. The soft warm breeze tickled my cheeks, as a gust of air blew by us. My nerves jumped even more, if that was possible.

Thanks so much for the comments... For some reason it is not letting me comment back. I love every piece of advice. :)

1 comment:

  1. Awesome first line! The first part feels a little bit awkward though, because you feel like you're still getting orders when suddenly you're in a hole. I like the description of the gunfire. Adding in the part about the hole-mate makes it seem like we're going to get to know this person, but that's the only mention there, so that feels a little bit off. "It was to a point that I had to sleep"- this is one of those things people say, but it feels awkward to read it, so you might want to re-think that wording.

    The beginning of the fourth paragraph takes us out of that moment you had us in from the beginning- think about tying in those ideas more fully to that scene, like having him say something like, "My commanding officer wasn't the only force keeping my eyes open that night; the fear of the enemy soldiers invading my mind with the nightmares that so frequently plagued those of us on the front lines was enough to make me fight against sleep as hard as I was fighting the battles of war." Okay, that was totally wordy and flowery, but you get the idea. I liked that "We were already living a nightmare..." line, just add a question mark at the end.

    After the jump- delete "several" from the sentence about trees. I love your description of this park- it really makes it sound magical. If this book will be LDS, go with "members of Merle's ward", otherwise, just go with "members of Merle's church." "A soft warm breeze tickled my cheeks as a gust of air blew by us"- this is kind of a contradiction- was it soft and warm or a gust?

    Overall, I can see where you're going with this and I like it. I love flashbacks- adding in the war scenes are a great way to add suspense to a story like this one that might not otherwise have real cliffhangers (most love stories don't).

    Hope I didn't give TOO much feedback! LOL! Just tell me to hush up. But thanks so much for being brave enough to share with us and keep working on it! I see really exciting potential here! :-)



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