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Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesBooks & Authors · 1 decade ago

How could I make this short story better? *Not boring :)*?

Poor and bedraggled. This is what the people all looked like during The Great Depression. It was very common to see people with careworn, blank faces roaming the streets. Hundreds of them just clinging on to what little hope they have. She was just another one of them, a poor woman, struggling to feed her family. He was used to seeing people like this. Wrinkled from the curse of living and abrupt by nature. She wore nothing but old torn up rags, covering her pale rawboned body.

“Welcome to my store,” Mark said with a smile, trying to make his body language as friendly as possible as he saw her scurry into his store, taut from The Depression. He was one of the lucky ones who still owned his store and had money coming in to feed his family. He was also one of those people who gave it all they could to help anyone in need.

Without a word, she made her way to his counter with two empty bottles in her skinny, shivering hands. Giving a quick glance at the bottles, he replaced them with two new fresh bottles of milk saying, “That would be nine cents please.”

Mark was not surprised when the woman just left the shop without a reply. Instead of calling the police or chasing after her to get his milk back, Mark felt sorry for her. He even felt a little guilty that he possessed more than she did. Although the woman was gone from the store, the eerie presence that she brought with her did not elude Mark’s mind. “Perhaps she’s a migrant worker,” Mark said to himself.

The next day, she was back with the two empty bottles. The look of need and anguish in her face was stronger than ever. He watched her hurry out the door just as soon as he finished replacing the bottles. Her uneasiness worried Mark and made him wonder if she had any job at all. “I’ll offer her a job here if I she comes by again,” Mark decided, polishing a full milk bottle.

Shortly after the store’s “Welcome in,” sign had been hung up, the doors swayed open and a cold breeze swept through the room. She was back with the two empty milk bottles. Without a word, he exchanged them for new, full ones. As soon as he opened his mouth to ask her about a part time job, she jolted out the door. This seemed strange to Mark and made him wonder what was going on with her. He ran after her meticulously enough, not to make a sound from his big hunting boots brushing against the dark, hard ground.

Mark was puzzled when he saw her running in the opposite direction from the migrant camp back in town. Instead, she ran past a listless river and entered a long forgotten graveyard that stood right near the entry path to Prescott Forest. Mark stood frozen in disbelief when he saw her disappear underneath the muddy ground of a wooden grave marker. Before he could bear to move, he heard a faint cry come from underneath the soil of the grave marker, which the lady had entered.

Running back to the store, Mark quickly phoned the police station. In just a matter of minutes, the graveyard was teeming with people, young and old, black and white, weak and strong. Workers started digging up the soil underneath the grave marker right away. Looking at the old wooden plank, haggard from the deadly combination of weather and time, Mark made out the words, “Hilda Blair.” Finally, they reached the casket. There was a vibration of movement on the inside that turned each workers face into a paradox of mysteries. When the casket was opened, Mark saw the same woman that came to his store for milk, lying stifles. She was ashen, rotting and dead. In her two anemic hands, was a baby and two full bottles of milk. The baby was still alive.


Here are the things I need to know.

1. How can I make this story better, grammar wise or making it sound less awkward at some part.

2. How can I make this story more chilling?

3. How can I make this story stuck in someones head for at least 5 seconds after they read it?

I know this is a long series of question but the help is really appreciated. :)


*I didn't think of the plot*

3 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The best advice I can give to you is to work on your dialogue. Think about your every day conversations and how people of multiple cultures would re-act in the Depression Era.

  • LK
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    1.) This story is (so far) in passive-voice. The goal is active-voice.

    Shortest example, in Wiki:

    Passive: "The cheese was eaten by the mouse."

    Active: "The mouse ate the cheese."

    [ADD: Other indicators of passive-voice are:

    Many prepositional phrases, many adverbs, passive verb forms, etc.]

    2.) Let dialog stand alone. Suggest you not surround it with unneeded detail.

    3.) A good tip is in "Strunk and White: The Elements of Style":

    "Omit unneeded words."

    4.) Suggest you steer clear of words: 'all,' 'every,' 'never' (and similar) in description.

    These words are very rarely true.

    Readers who lived in a true era described know better.

    So do any to whom they describe what they saw/did/thought at that time.

    5.) Research is needed when writing about a true era.

    Best of luck in your endeavor.

    Please realize all writers make revisions to their work as needed.

    Source(s): Cited above. Also have degree in Eng. Lit. and made living as writer, editor, tutor. Retired.
  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    Any of the thoughts contained in the fast tale collections by making use of Ray Bradbury, like the MARTIAN CHRONICLES, S IS FOR area, a medicine FOR melancholy, R IS FOR ROCKET, BRADBURY thoughts.

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