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Updated 28/12/12- Taken on board a lot of critique, cut a lot of the fat and now have a refreshed piece!

I wrote this on my iphone, bloody hard!
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Aethiana Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013
Hey Becca,

To be honest, I felt this piece was perfect the way it was, before you updated it. I feel like cutting away the "fat", as you call it, took away a lot of the imagery and lessened the strength of feeling that came with it, because there's less buildup time now, and a shorter resolution. I'm sorry, I know you put a lot of work into this.
DamonWakes Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013  Student Writer
I didn't see the earlier versions, but this seems like a well-polished piece. It definitely doesn't look like there's any more you could stand to trim: you might be able to tell the same story without quite so much detail at the beginning, but I don't think it would be as effective.

I can spot only a couple of things that might be worth a change: "debating who really the best actor to play Batman was" is one. I'm guessing this might have already been shifted around a bit during editing, as it makes sense but the "really" doesn't seem to belong there (unless it's a regional quirk I've never come across before). The other is the sentence beginning "Our ritual became less often." suggests that "often" can mean "frequent" (which I think would make sense, though it's probably too formal here) but that's archaic.

:shrug: That's really it, though. Having one small detail at the end of a story illustrate a greater change is a tried and tested technique, and I think you've used it well. I agree with *glossolalias that you've turned a very ordinary situation into something remarkable.
BeccaJS Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013   Writer
I agree with you on the batman line, it is a bit clunky! Thank you for your thoughts :D
tinaaw Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Stunning writing - congrats on this piece. Made me sad.
BeccaJS Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013   Writer
Thank you :heart:
glossolalias Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2012
you made the mundane heartbreaking and beautiful.
BeccaJS Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013   Writer
Thanks :D
Blacksand459 Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
You really drive the point home of "would'a, could'a, should'a." So sad, so true.

This is a really beautiful piece, Becca.
BeccaJS Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013   Writer
Thank you :D
Blacksand459 Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
You're welcome!

And thanks for posting this Lit. Comm. Experiment; it has been really exciting to meet and mingle with other writers on DA, and this Experiment has been very instrumental in introducing writers to each other from across DA. :D
Kunabee Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2012
Wow... That was really amazing. I liked it. Makes you sad at the end. A little short, but pushing it to be any longer would just ruin it. Excellent job.
ShadedCorners Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2012  Professional Digital Artist

I love how it is so brief, but it still goes through a full arc of emotion and feeling!
ScatteredAshe Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:tears: I so completely relate to this, well done! Made my heart hurt at the end. :tears:
TangerineTerranova Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
"I twisted, licked and dunked." awww.... :(
LancelotPrice Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2012
I've written at least three poems on this theme. It never stops hurting. Always say love.


In case you're curious and have time>

kamcalste Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
The ending really clinched this - there's a lot of weight and sadness in that last sentence. I thought it progressed beautifully and that you captured the two "characters" well.

Nice work. :)
beeinthebottle Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2012   Writer
I love how you've used something as simple as custard creams to tie together this piece, which is about a lot more than cookies/biscuits. It works very well.

And I can't imagine trying to write anything on a phone. ;)
balisoda Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2012
Hi would it be possible to use some of your verse & prose for LAMDA London Academy of Music & Examinations?
BeccaJS Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2012   Writer
Hello there

As much as I am flattered, you've picked a qualified LAMDA instructor to ask (me) and in Spoken Verse and Prose you need to select published works. This has been posted on an art network and not considered as published, similar to if you chose your own piece of writing. Depending on your grade, stick to known prose that has lots of dynamic moments that shows off your voice- this would be too flat for an exam piece.

I am assuming that if you are doing SVP, you have selected poems from the LAMDA vol 2 collection? What Grade are you doing? I am happy to help you select appropriate material, but do make sure it is published!
heartbreaker2000 Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2011
duud get that picture off of deviant that looks just like me and if my parents find out about this im screwed
BeccaJS Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2011   Writer
Um... It's literature, not a picture.

How old are you?
RocketChaser Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2011
I hate to drag this away from what's a poignant subject matter (and a lovely piece of short prose) but you simply don't dunk a custard cream, twisted and licked or otherwise!

Some things just need to be said and biscuits are serious business!

Now, gingernuts? Get out the gingernuts and we'll talk!
BeccaJS Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2011   Writer
22:38:01 <WetKakashi> Beccalicious: I think the writing would benefit more if you can describe how the biscuits tasted by method of dunking. I really like the subtle actions between the two characters but I wasn't able to get the emotions that she felt. Now if you were to delve further into how the biscuit tasted when his presence was around and not around and when he's gone off with another girll.
BeccaJS Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2011   Writer
22:16:10 <lightningmonkey> Beccalicious: it's so...British.
22:16:14 <zebrazebrazebra> dunking Oreos in tea just ruins both tea and biscuit alike. <-- For this alone your story wins.
22:16:16 <Drunken-Splice> I'm starting with micro stuff because I...just am. "in return I would mock him in retaliation" seems redundant
22:16:25 <Drunken-Splice> it is very British hahaha
22:16:42 <Beccalicious> lol
22:16:43 <zebrazebrazebra> Yeah, I agree with Drunken-Splice. Therefore also being redundant.
22:17:06 ** Arichy has left [connection closed]
22:17:11 <Sandstar12> awesome, a tea-drinking story!
22:17:28 <zebrazebrazebra> such as when we were at school and we'd sit under the chestnut tree in a similar gathering that sadly lacked tea. <-- this is quite a clumsy structure, I like the kick in the tail joke but it just needs a bit of tightening.
22:17:52 <Beccalicious> the first draft of this was written on my iphone just for random fact.
22:18:02 <zebrazebrazebra> Yeah I saw in the AC. You mad.
22:18:05 <Beccalicious> which is why I think it feels clunky mind
22:18:18 <Sandstar12> 'It was the two of us being ourselves and nobody else around.' - I found this a little clumsy, yes, clunky is perhaps a better word
22:18:22 <lightningmonkey> Beccalicious: I'm not sure how I feel about the social references in the story, as it feels like it could've been placed anywhere in the last 50 years, except for when you start talking about House and Facebook
22:18:35 <zebrazebrazebra> Yeah I agree with that, except I actually liked the Batman reference.
22:18:41 <zebrazebrazebra> Maybe 'cause Batman has been around so much longer.
22:18:46 <lightningmonkey> Batman could be anywhere in the last 50 years, though
22:18:47 <lightningmonkey> yeah
22:18:50 <Drunken-Splice> " It was one of those silly things we argued about" feels very blah to me. I think we already know they like to argue over it, and the fact that you have things like oreos and custard etc gives it the silly side
22:19:19 <Beccalicious> so are you suggesting make it more timeless?
22:19:26 <lightningmonkey> I think so, yeah.
22:19:34 <zebrazebrazebra> As a more macro thing, there are soooooooo many short full stop sentences in this. By the fourth para or so I'm craving variation.
22:19:41 <lightningmonkey> I think that without the Harry Potter/House/Facebook stuff, it's pretty fitting to be any time
22:20:03 <zebrazebrazebra> Oh that ending is clever. I like that.
22:20:25 <lightningmonkey> "It was endearing to know he was only ever truly himself around me." <-- That tells me just a bit too much.
22:20:53 <Drunken-Splice> Beccalicious: careful of your "just"s. There seem to be a lot of them. I don't know about you, but lately I feel like I put them in everywhere myself, and every single time I ran into it when I edited later, it didn't need to be said.
22:21:24 <lightningmonkey> Beccalicious: Things like "We still argued over Harry Potter, but as life moved, so did we" could easily be reduced to "We still argued, but....etc." without it affecting the story too drastically
22:21:51 <zebrazebrazebra> We were inseparable in those moments; the rest of the world melted away. <-- Maybe it's tacky but you have such an opportunity there for somethhing melting like an overdunked bikkie.
22:21:59 <lightningmonkey> hahahaha
22:22:08 * zebrazebrazebra is giving out sleep deprived advice now.
22:22:25 <Beccalicious> I like what you mean zebrazebrazebra, to continue back to the biscuit theme
22:22:46 ** WetKakashi has joined
22:23:17 <HtBlack> That same kind of metaphor could be used when talking of him leaving with the other girl, actually.
22:23:39 <HtBlack> (sorry to jump in like this, was a bit distracted )
22:23:45 * Beccalicious makes note to find an irish biscuit
22:23:47 <zebrazebrazebra> What, he dunked his biscuit in some other girl's tea? o_o
22:23:56 <Sandstar12> rofl
22:24:06 <HtBlack> LOL
22:24:07 <Drunken-Splice> lmao
22:24:14 <lightningmonkey> "dunked his biscuit"
22:24:21 <HtBlack>
22:24:39 <zebrazebrazebra> We call it his Scotch Finger.
22:24:39 <Beccalicious> lol
22:24:40 <HtBlack> double win for zebrazebrazebra, it seems. XD
22:24:44 <lightningmonkey> hahaha
22:24:51 * lightningmonkey tips his hat to the zebra
22:24:55 <zebrazebrazebra> Although custard cream is also strangely appropriate...
On a more serious note I really loved how you've got the details of the changes in their biscuit time evoking the changes in their relatiosnhip. I think you can make it even more pivotal in the functioning of the story.
22:28:47 <zebrazebrazebra> Cut anything that tells us how they feel and demonstrate it through biscuits.
22:28:55 <lightningmonkey> Beccalicious: I think there's just several moments where you overstate things a bit, especially toward the end where you've got "I grabbed the first biscuit as the waves of regret overpowered me."
Aethiana Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2011
Very well constructed, I was hooked at the first sentence and couldn't stop reading.

Your ending made my heart nearly break; I was in love with those two :(
Ookamiash Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Ah, so bittersweet... and can relate to this so well.

I love the feeling it's left me with. The whole "don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened" thing.
evcfenix Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2011
i almost cried reading this. the sudden twist to the story in the middle was really unexpected, especially after he had just got you the teapot. well written.

Plaugh Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2011
Afraid to take the chance and then having to live with regret. How sad. Beautifully done. :)

And yes, tea and Oreos is totally wrong. Must have cold milk with the Oreos, especially the double-stuff variety. ;)
Itti Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I like the ending. This felt like it got more believable as the story neared its conclusion. The first two paragraphs tended to waffle a bit. I know you're bringing some of this up to share with us at the ending, but some of it seems a bit lengthy. For example
We judged people by their Facebook activity and used it to review our past encounters, such as when we were at school and we'd sit under the chestnut tree in a similar gathering that sadly lacked tea.
I think some sentences like this could be condensed, and maybe other parts developed so that you could show more of the characters themselves, rather than their interests, particularly when the interests are somewhat generic.

Having said that, this started to feel stronger as you pressed on and there are some great lines in here. I like "We always made time for tea and biscuits." - it brings the poignancy of the ending home that bit harder. And of course the final two paragraphs are really good. You really convey strongly the image of someone sitting at home in her kitchen, doing something which is powerfully meaningful only to her. If you tidied up some of the earlier stuff, this could be a really strong piece.
BeccaJS Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2012   Writer
Excuse the year late response, but I have taken some of your notes and updated this piece :) Thank you!
Itti Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Glad it was helpful. I had another read-through and I like the way it reads now. I still love the third paragraph.

A few small pointers remain.

The summers sat watching the cool kids play football whilst we pretended we were secret agents searching for the bad guys and the leaf fights of the autumn that followed.
This is actually... not a sentence. Unless you are saying that the summers themselves were sitting watching the cool kids play football, in which case it is a confusing sentence that doesn't make much sense. You need something like "We spent the summers..." or "In the summers we sat..."

then the way he way always seemed so relaxed
There's an extra 'way'.
an over dunked rich tea
I think technically as a compound adjective it's meant to be over-dunked, but you could probably get away with overdunked if you wanted to. I don't think it stands well as two words.

felt sick when they mentioned the baby.
There's a single line break here. Not sure if it was meant to be a new paragraph or the same one, but it's currently betwixt and between.

I'm not sure if the Irish shortbread bit was there before but I really like it!

I looked at the pink teapot sat on my windowsill with a desire to use it.
'with a desire to use it' sounds a bit awkward (not to mention it sounds like it's the teapot that has the desire). 'and felt an urge to use it' would be better. Making a separate sentence ('I felt a desire to use it.') would be better still as it picks up the pace. The language is fairly 'slow' in the rest of the piece, which is fine as it's reminiscing and being wistful and descriptive, but it seems like the end few paragraphs (after the shift to the present day) deserve a change from that.

Sorry to come right back at you with more changes after you've already refreshed it ^^; I do think this is much improved, and most of the things I've suggested are little nips and tucks here and there. Removing the pop culture references really pepped it up and I agree that a lot of the fat has been cut. I have offered a few finer trims but this is really becoming quite awesome now :D
TheBrassGlass Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2011  Professional General Artist
Aww. This has a lovely smoldering wistfulness that suits the subject perfectly. How sad! How sad, the "what if" game. :(
angelStained Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2011   Writer
ooh, the bittersweetness here is really good.
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Submitted on
July 5, 2011
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