Please comment on my written short story. Is it good?

I am 17 and about to finish my A-Levels before going to university to study Computer Engineering. One of my A-Levels is English Literature and my final grade is A. I enjoy writing and I want to do it professionally at one point in the future, but in the meantime I have written a short story (chapters are incomplete but please look at it generally) - and I'd like your opinions.

Here it is:

Chapter 1

Bella was my next door neighbour for three years, until the incident occurred last year, on the night of Sunday the 13th of October 1997; a formidable event that changed my life forever.

To me Bella was more than a friend, but to Bella, it seemed that I was a mere acquaintance. She felt that I had no reason to be in her life; that I had no purpose. She made that clear, and that is why I did it. I trust that I had no choice in the matter; I have to, in order to keep that last bit of sanity that I have, but now, it seems everything is turning against me. What I did to Bella was unforgivable. I crossed the threshold. For the past year I have been living in guilt. Unimaginable guilt. Guilt which I need to get rid of, but there is only one way, and there is no going back. I’ve been having nightmares about Bella ever since I… ever since she left me. I can’t live with this anymore, it has to stop.

Chapter 2

September 1993. My family and I had just moved into Wyoming. My father enjoyed travelling around the country; California, New Jersey, Arkansas, Pennsylvania…. He loved it. I hated it. I hated it among many other things. I believe I was one of those few children who were actually capable of hate. That is, until Bella moved in next door, and changed me. When I first saw her my eyes couldn’t stop staring at her resplendent face, her flaxen hair, her fascinating figure. She was the only person who I felt had power over me. Her beauty controlled me.

My mother was murdered in 1978, a year after my birth. What happened to her was unclear to me. My father said she was shot dead, but the San Francisco Chronicle claimed that she was kidnapped and drowned by a serial killer, a psychopath. I didn’t know what to believe. I didn’t trust my father; I didn’t trust anybody. Perhaps if I knew my mother I would have turned out a different person; maybe then I wouldn’t have committed such unforgivable acts. In New Jersey I had a school fight at the mere age of eight. I punched another boy in the eye. He became partially blind yet I did not feel a bit of remorse. That’s when my father knew that something was wrong with me. He thought my emotions were suppressed because of my mother’s death. Little did my father know; I’ve done much worse things than taking away somebody’s sight. Much, much worse.

Settling into Wyoming was one of the most difficult times of my life. As I walked down the street people kept staring at me. It was obvious that I wasn’t mentally “right”. My father said I “looked like a wild beast”-“something out of the woods”. That upset me. Made me angry.

Chapter 3

October 1994. Despite being neighbours, Bella and I hardly spoke to each other. I didn’t go anywhere near her in fear of hurting her. In fact I didn’t go near anyone. People saw me as a dangerous psychotic sociopath; except Bella, or so I thought. She always smiled at me from her bedroom window. In fact I recall hearing her calling my name one night; “Damon! Damon!” – Though I wasn’t sure if that was real. My mind is in a state where I can’t tell if anything is real.


But what do you mean by "show"?

Good good I need constructive feedback like that, keep it coming!

7 Answers

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago
    Best Answer

    It's interesting, and I like the subject matter you've chosen to explore. You seem to have done it right so far, but maybe at the point where he says he can't tell if anything is real make it a bit more dream-like so it's clear that he can't separate illusion from reality. As you go on writing this, try to see things from the boy's point of view - imagine you're in his situation. This will give you a more accurate idea of how he feels about things.

    Somebody said the descriptions were too overindulgent - well, in places they are but sometimes some description is necessary. Have you ever read any F. Scott Fitzgerald? Like The Great Gatsby? I think he does description really well without sounding long-winded or self-indulgent.

    Also, someone said "show don't tell" - I think they wanted you to explicitly spell out what he did to Bella. I don't think you should, in fact maybe the reader could never find out - it could be hinted at throughout the novel but never actually explained (like in Of Mice and Men), or towards the end he could have a flashback where the entire experience is shown. It depends on how the story progresses.

    But I like it so far, good luck!

  • 9 years ago

    this line, for me, sums up most of what I think is the problem:

    "When I first saw her my eyes couldn’t stop staring at her resplendent face, her flaxen hair, her fascinating figure"

    You are overindulging. You have a good sense of grammar and structure, but it takes too long to get to the point.

    perhaps you might consider changing the entire sentence to something like this:

    "When I first saw her, I couldn’t stop staring"

    as an example...

    also, consider buying or viewing the "the elements of style, by strunk and white"... it is very helpful for editing, and getting to the point, amongst other things :)

  • ?
    Lv 6
    9 years ago

    All it is is showing and no telling. Not to offend you or anything, but it bored me. It could turn into something good. For chapter 1; why not SHOW what happened to Bella, and the narrators feelings about it?

    There's no action- nothing which makes me want to go "Wow! I want to read on!". Rather than telling us about the narrator and "Bella", SHOW us, it'd be much more interesting!

    The writing itself is decent. It needs work, but it's okay. Keep on writing. Good luck.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    not bad, but it soudns more like an outline to the opening chapter of a novel. individually, they aren't nearly full, detailed or strong enough to be chapters. however, if you write the compelte novel, i would expect it to be very intersting, so keep at it as there is a lot of potential both in the plot and your writing.

    happy writing - c.w.

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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    It's good! But I'm a little confused, did he kill her?

  • 9 years ago

    its average,, i was a little confused...blah blah blah. same old same old. keep writing,,


  • 9 years ago

    yeah it is good...better than me...

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