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The Best Days Aren?t Planned

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  • The Best Days Aren?t Planned

    Ok, so this is basically a very rough first draft to the beginning of a short story. It's my first fictional work in a while so it's pretty bad and cliché... Ha! I just used all the terms a writer could possibly use to excuse just about anything Any comments/feedback are appreciated

    "The Best Days Aren't Planned"

    A new year, new classes, new teachers ? a new start.

    I go into the classroom. I sit with Anne, as always. We choose seats in the back by the window ? again a habit that's stayed with us since last year. I don't recognise many of the faces in the class, most of them are third years. To my great sadness I see that the popular girl from my class chose this course as well. I guess I'll be looking forward to yet another year of her pro-Christian philosophies and utter stupidity. "I think only smart people should have the right to vote." That rules you out! It takes all kinds I guess.

    Teacher comes in. He's young, with a tidy appearance and sharp eyes ? the very opposite of my beloved teacher from last year. She was extremely messy, fairly old and not a little bit whimsy. She was also one of the best teachers I've ever had the pleasure of having. He introduces himself as Mr. Carpenter and tells us his different specialties, sociology, German literature and philosophy. I should be excited. This is social science ? one of my favourite subjects, one of the few courses I'd been looking forward to. Despite this, all I can do is look out the window. Look over the tips of the trees outside; follow them down to the water. My eyes continues over the horizon and are finally fixed on the cloudy grey sky.

    Mr. C is talking in the background, I get the gist of it ? he wants to get to know us. When he realises we don't know each other he gets really surprised but happy. He says something more. I'm not listening. I'm looking at a bird gliding over that bleak grey sky. I wish I was her, I wish I had that grace, that freedom. People around me start moving. I turn confused to Anne. Luckily she hadn't been distracted by a bird. We've each been dealt a number and are supposed to go sit with the other person who got the same number. She also tells me I got number thirteen. Of course.

    I don't even have time to get up and try to find my partner before he finds me. Taking Anne's place he sits down next to me. Cute, but not my type is my first thought. He's tall with short cropped fair hair and a narrow face. I'm all for the narrow faces, so that looks just fine to me. However, I'm more for the dark haired and I don't usually like tall guys. Mostly because I'm so short and have to stretch (neck-pains are not a pleasant side-effect of tip-toe snogging). Moreover, tall guys are often a bit scrawny ? I like having something to cuddle with.

    We both fumble a bit as we start on the assignment. It's the usual boring what's your name, do you have any siblings, kind of questions. We finish quickly, neither of us really elaborating on any of our answers. Me, mostly because I'm so tired and bored by everything. I can only guess his reasons, tired, shy or simply bored like I. My eyes start to drift towards the sky again. To at least look focused I pick up my pen and start drawing Anne across the room. He looks at what I'm drawing and asks who it is. I answer that it's the girl sitting over there. Why am I drawing her, he asks. I answer that it is because I love drawing people when they're un-aware of it ? they act more real that way. He thinks this sounds a bit mean ? to the object that is. I just smile and continue.

    As he was leaning over to see what I was doing I felt strangely aware of him. His body heat that radiated from his shirt, a strand of blond hair that hung down. It was almost a relief when he leaned back in his chair again ? almost. A part of me wishes he'd keep leaning over me. Keep asking me questions that I could give witty or un-suspected answers to. I like being that girl. The mysterious but funny and maybe a bit crazy girl who doesn't do what anybody expects her to.

  • #2
    It was decently written, I must say.

    The present tense is fine to tell stories in (I'm not one of those people who thinks that stories must be told in past tense) but if you are going to tell it now, then tell it NOW. You immediately jumped into the past tense, talking about details that are, as of yet, unimportant to the story (such as the description of the narrator’s professor from last year).

    I don’t know what you are planning with the story, but I’d recommend introducing all these characters at different times instead of throwing them all at the reader at the same time. The popular girl. Mr. Carpenter. The partner. The Narrator. Anne. The teacher from last year. All within a couple hundred words, and all, I assume, important to the story (if they aren’t important to the story, then cut them completely).

    Also: “I like being that girl. The mysterious but funny and maybe a bit crazy girl who doesn’t do what anybody expects her to.” Yikes! Don’t let your narrator tell us who she is so… blatantly. My first thought upon reading this was: Yeah right, this girl only wishes she was these things. It is uninteresting hearing people describe their own personalities.

    Also, where’s the hook? I read it because it was short, but without the hook, to be perfectly honest, I don’t know if I would have continued to read it much longer. I read hundreds of books a year, and any book or story that doesn’t draw me in, I put to the side and forget about because there are millions of other books and stories out there that will keep me interested from sentence number 1.
    "A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject." - Winston Churchill

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    • #3
      Thanks so much for the feedback Now, I've edited the draft a bit - though not continued any on the story...

      The Best Days Aren't Planned

      A new year, new classes, new teachers ? a new start.

      I go into the classroom. I sit with Anne, as always. To not sit with Anne is for me not even an option. Last year it somehow became us against them, whoever they can be. Sometimes I wish that I could sit somewhere else. Just to see how it would be. It's not necessarily that I don't like Anne, because I do. She's nice and the best kind of friend anyone could ask for. She keeps your secrets, she never judges and she's constantly there. It's the latter part that is starting to bug me. It seems she never needs space, or silence for that matter. Her constant chatter about, to me, insignificant things is mind-numbing and painful. Some times I just feel like shouting "Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!", but I never do.

      We choose seats in the back by the window ? again a habit that has stayed with us since last year. It's nice to sit in the back. The teacher more seldom notice if you're not paying attention when you're in the back. It also gives me a great opportunity to observe my fellow classmates, perhaps even draw them. Observing people when they're unaware they're being observed is fun and very interesting. As I glance around the classroom I do not recognise many of the face, most of them are third years. To my great sadness I see that the popular girl from my class chose this course as well. I guess I'll be looking forward to yet another year of her utter stupidity. "I think only smart people should have the right to vote." That rules you out! It takes all kinds I guess.

      The teacher comes in. He's young, with a tidy appearance and sharp eyes. He introduces himself as Mr. Carpenter and tells us his different specialties, sociology, German literature and philosophy. I should be excited. This is social science ? one of my favourite subjects, one of the few courses I'd been looking forward to. Despite this, all I can do is look out the window. Look over the tips of the trees outside; follow them down to the water. My eyes continue over the horizon and are finally fixed on the cloudy grey sky. I recognise myself in that sky. It's bleak with few highlights and little movement. Still, just like my own life.

      Mr. C is talking in the background, I get the gist of it ? he wants to get to know us. When he realises we don't already all know each other he gets really excited. He says something more. I'm not listening. I'm looking at a bird gliding over that bleak grey sky. I wish I was her, I wish I had that grace, that freedom. I wish I could escape the bleakness and stillness. People around me start moving. I turn confused to look at Anne. Luckily she hadn't been distracted by a bird. We've each been dealt a number and are supposed to go sit with the other person who got the same number. She also tells me I got number thirteen ? of course.

      Anne seems reluctant to move far away from me. She tries to get her partner to sit at a table close to where Anne and I were sitting, but the partner continues to wave Anne towards the empty chair next to her. Across the classroom from where Anne and I am. With a sigh Anne picks up her back and cardigan and makes her way across the classroom, away from me. A part of me is relieved. Another is raging at the part of me that is relieved, tells it that it's wrong of me to feel that way.

      I don't even have time to get up and try to find my partner before he finds me. Taking Anne's place he sits down next to me. He introduces himself as Henry. Cute, but not my type is my first thought. He's tall with short cropped fair hair and a narrow face. I'm all for the narrow faces, so that looks just fine to me. However, I'm more for the dark haired and I don't usually like tall guys. Mostly because I'm so short and have to stretch (neck-pains are not a pleasant side-effect of tip-toe snogging). Moreover, tall guys are often a bit scrawny ? I like having something to cuddle with. I seem to always make a mental list of pro's and con's whenever I meet a new guy. I read somewhere that when you meet someone new (generally of the opposite sex) all humans sub-consciously asses whether or not that person could be the bearer of or father of their offspring. I guess I just do it more consciously. Either that or I'm just really horny.

      We both fumble a bit as we start on the assignment. It's the usual boring what's your name, do you have any siblings, kind of questions. We finish quickly, neither of us really elaborating on any of our answers. Me, mostly because I'm so tired and bored by everything. I can only guess his reasons, tired, shy or simply bored like I. My eyes start to drift towards the sky again. I feel the grey sky pull me in again. As I don't feel like having yet a row of depressing thoughts I pick up my pen and start drawing Anne across the room instead. She's sitting very still, looking at her partner ? it seems to be her turn to answer questions. From here she doesn't look like the insecure girl I know her to be.

      Henry leans over looks at what I'm drawing. I become instantly aware of him. His cologne finds its way to my nose and a strand of hair is hanging down his forehead. My heart beat quickens ? why does my teenage hormones always have to kick in at bad times? I answer that it's the girl sitting over there ? I don't mention that I know her, it seems unimportant somehow. He asks why I'm drawing her. Again the proximity makes me hesitant but concentrating on the drawing and Anne helps. I answer that it is because I love drawing people when they're unaware of it ? they act more natural that way. He thinks this sounds a bit mean ? to the object that is. I just smile and continue.

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