Friday, April 13, 2012

Sitting In The Sun

(This week’s photo prompt for Madison Woods Friday Fictioneers ...)

"Kristen, how well do you remember your mother?"

"Not much, Dad. Why?"

"Just wonder sometimes. Your mom and I used to sit on this bench."

"You did? Is that why we're here?"

"I think so. I haven't been here in a long time."

"What was it like?"

"It was fast. There wasn't time to think. Too many questions, so much uncertainty, so hard to commit. Things slowed here, for a while. But sooner or later, we always had to go back through that tunnel."

"Was it worth it?"

"Absolutely. Look where it got me! Sitting in the sun with you."


  1. I enjoyed this, and a story in dialogue is always difficult to pace. But you managed fine here I thought. And a nice ending too.

    Mine's at

  2. I thought the pacing was fine, liked the last line. You managed to tie the journey to the destination nicely.

    Here's mine:

  3. I think it's great your whole story is dialogue. That's not easy to accomplish. I think the pacing works because it is only dialogue. Here's mine:

  4. Nice! Really nice story!

  5. I really liked the introspection and connection within so few words. Nicely done, Scott. :)

    Here's mine:


  6. Great dialogue and touching story that left me wondering...

    Thanks for stopping by mine. For others, it's here:

  7. Well, the dialouge was fine - up to a point - in that the poor girl didn't really get to say much...What the father said was pretty oblique and I am still trying to figure it out. Is he talking cosmicly or is he some kind of being that travels through the tunnel between life and death?
    The guessing is alright though. You can be oblique.
    I, being the number one critic here, would probably have advised you to break up that last speech. Have Kirsten ask a question and then let him give the punchline.
    Just critical old me....
    oh yeah, here is mine:

    1. Thank you, number one critic. As you may recall, I do not object to being oblique ... in fact, some say it is one of my fortes. That said (directly, I think), I originally had done something similar to what you suggested, but was forced to make a change because there were too many words, and I want to stick to the 100 word limit. I did not want to use ellipses or punctuation to show the crawling finger of time, nor narrative to stick it in there (since I committed myself to dialogue, only) ... so lengthened the sentences spoken by dad. That created a trade-off that seemed to work for me in the long speech, but apparently didn't go across as well as I would have hoped. Maybe if I had worked it a little longer I would have found more precise words, and at the same time been able to convey a deeper sense of longing and despair behind the final optimism. Maybe wishing for too much. I read your story earlier, today ... but I couldn't find a way to leave a comment. I'll try back now.

  8. I agree this is a nicely done bit of dialogue and definitely leaves as many questions as answers. well written either way.

  9. Enjoyed this, however, dad was too vague, which left me frustrated. I would like the dtr. to ask and get more direct answers or at least one. Here's mine:

  10. I thought you handled the pacing pretty well - there's no need for the two speakers have equal focus, in fact I'd say it's more realistic for them not to. The daughter is reflecting her father's emotions, so she is inevitably quieter than him, and "was it worth it?" from her, clearly portrays the tone of his longer speech as wistful and full of longing. I loved the positivity of the last line.

    One comment, I think you could cut down the beginning, where you're forced to use "Dad" and "Kristen" to introduce the characters. The word Dad, in particular, feels forced. I'm wondering if you could cut "Kristen" from the first line. We don't need her name. Then maybe "Why, Dad?" would work better than "Not much, Dad". Then you could earn yourself a few words by making the next line just "We used to sit here sometimes", and spend those words a little later on, giving a few more clues to what happened.

    But, don't assume that because I've given a long crit I thought your piece was bad or needs a lot of work. These are just my suggestions and I thought you conveyed the emotions of the pair really well.

    I’m over here:

  11. Scott, I just wrote a long comment detailing where you could save words and crisp up the dialogue but it was destroyed when I didn't write the correct Wordpress username. I hate Blogger.
    I liked your story, it was enigmatic. The little ways you could save words that you might want to use in other places:
    "How well do you remember mother?" She doesn't need a name, you don't need "your."

    "Just wonder." You don't need "sometimes."

    "It's been a long time" instead of "I haven't been here in a long time"

    "Fast." You don't need "It was," she already said it.

    You might not want to make all these changes, or any, but I think they have a double effect of giving you some other words to introduce and making the prose a little cleaner.

  12. Hi Scott, I didn't a problem with pacing, it flowed well except for one spot. What made me slow down was the daughter asking 'What was it like' and then your next sentence from the dad made me have to re-read to see if he was describing their life together or the accident (if there was one) that killed the mother. I liked Carlo's suggestions, too.