Rewrite of partial 1st chapter

Post excerpts from your works in progress and give feedback to your fellow writers.
Post Reply
Mark.W.Carson
Posts: 233
Joined: December 15th, 2011, 9:20 am
Location: Northeastern US
Contact:

Rewrite of partial 1st chapter

Post by Mark.W.Carson » December 15th, 2011, 10:51 am

Redone so many times, no need to keep this here.
Last edited by Mark.W.Carson on July 10th, 2012, 2:44 pm, edited 9 times in total.

User avatar
GaoYuQing
Posts: 78
Joined: February 10th, 2011, 9:47 am
Contact:

Re: Partial 1st chapter of "Eternal Question"

Post by GaoYuQing » December 18th, 2011, 12:40 pm

mark54g wrote:The worn wipers streaked don't think you want this word. streaking means racing, and I think you're thinking of the "streaks" its leaving behind. across Melinda's windshield with a screech, leaving dollops of rain
and scattered bits of dried leaves behind
simplify and condense, it'll have more of an impact. i use too many descriptors too. She'd been meaning to get them replaced, but there was no
time for that now. Her eyes were so bleary and filled with tears that she could barely even tell they the object of sentence is the eyes, so you make it sound like she can't tell her eyes are there
were there. All of her focus was on driving and keeping up. It took everything she had to follow the
lights of the ambulance in front of her
. switch these two sentences, the "keeping up" at the end of the sentence leaves you puzzled and you dwell on it before going on to the next oneAnything else in her field of vision seemed dim and
unimportant. When the ambulance in front of her honked its horn wouldnt it have its sirens blaring the whole way? why bother with horn?as it flew through a red light, she
gunned the motor and prayed she'd make it through unscathed, and ripped speedingthrough the gap it had made
in the intersection. When it took a hard turn a few blocks later, she stayed glued on toits tail. She wasn't
going to let it get away from her.

Finally, after an ordeal of a drive, the two vehicles made it to the hospital. The ambulance
whipped around the concrete divider and up the ramp to the entry way in front of the ER. Melinda
broke off herpursuit and headed for the parking lot. She ditched her car, half crooked, in the first open parking
space that she found, hopped out, and threw the door shut. She then immediately reopened the door and
retrieved her keys from the ignition and the purse that had fallen off its perch on the seat next to her
and happened to wedged itself into the floor space of the passenger side. They'd need her insurance
information, she thought.
make this an introspective thought directly ie they'll need the insurance information she thought.
Once more, she slammed her door and took off running to catch up with her son. The medics
had just gotten his gurney set up and were pushing it through the entry doorsif they are just getting it set up they wouldnt be going anywhere with it yet. She followed them,
going as fast as her wobbly legs would let her --through the yellow "Triage" doors --on toward the first
nurse's station ... until they sounds like you're talking about your legs as they were the last object referred tocame to a rest at the main nurse's hub in the Emergency Room. There, she
could catch her breath. She bowed her head and inhaled deeply, still searching for her windI know what you mean here, but it's a really odd way of saying it. Looking
down, she saw him --her first look at him since she saw him being fed into the rear of the ambulance.
There he was. His eyes were closed, and he was hooked up to all manner of tubes. Melinda tried to
stifle the tears that came running randown her face, and smeared them back with her hands, trying to keep
herself together, but not really able to do so.break up this sentence It was the best she could do under the circumstances,
which was not that well at all.

"Is this him? Are you the medics that called ahead?" see comment below, this seems a bit unorganized for a ERthe young nurse in aqua scrubs asked,
rushing around the long desk of the nurse's hub.

"This is him. His breathing is shallow ...when it even registers. We thought we lost him a few
times. We tried to intubate on the ride over but it wouldn't go." the first medic called out.

"Here are his last recorded vitals: 82% O2 sat, BP is 88 over 35, body temp 36 Celsius. We fell back to bag-valve mask when the tube failed. We pushed 200cc saline bolus IV en route." the second medic added.

They tried to stick a tube in down his throat while they were driving him around like that, Melinda
thought. The very notion gave her chills and a sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach.

"They're waiting for him in Trauma 2 --right back in there."

The medics pushed on past the nurse's station I'm a little unfamiliar with hospital procedure, but this seems sketchy to me. i don't think they stop at a nurse's station upon arrival. they call ahead and doctors are waiting for emergency trauma cases, after which they are rushed to trauma as medics pass over information. I'm pretty sure at least. Maybe do a bit of research on procedure?to the room behind the glass doors to her left, as
the nurse had directed.

" --Are you the mom?" the nurse asked, turning back to Melinda, who looked stood looking nervous and
frightened in the emergency room.

"Wha..? Yes --I'm his mother." Melinda said, snapping out of her daze. Her mind was swimming
and overwhelmed. She was somewhere else --somewhere not here well that's implied by saying she was somewhere else--she wished she were anywhere
but here.

"Come with me, I need you to fill out his information."

Melinda returned a blank look to hercut this.

"We need to know what happened. --if he was Is heon any medications? --if he has does he haveany allergies?" the
nurse said, taking Melinda by the hand and sitting her down near the triage nurse's desk.

"Do you want me to get you some water?"

"No, thank you," Melinda said, still breathing heavily, and trying to concentrate.

A few moments later, Melinda handed back the clipboard she was had been given, the papers were
spotted with tears and the handwriting was shaky and barely readable.

Melinda got up and walked over to the glass doors of the trauma rooms. As she made her wayas she made her way...what? reword,
the doctor came out of the room her son had been taken to, and took Melinda aside. "We are going to
admit your son, Mrs. Fuller. We think we've gotten his breathing situation sorted out, so we're moving
him to intensive care."

"Does that mean he's going to be okay?" Melinda asked, hopefully.

"I wish I could tell you, but we just don't know right now. Come...follow me." the doctor
instructed. Melinda followed him to the elevator just outside the emergency room where he pushed
the button for the third floor and stepped back off the elevator.

"Just take this up and follow the arrows on the big sign. You'll see it when the doors open. --Good luck."

Melinda nodded, silently as the doors closed in front of her.

As the elevator ascended, Melinda was all by herself. When it came to a stop, she followed the
signs to the intensive care unit. It was darker here; people were sleeping. Old people looked up at her
from their beds --moaning, and machines were making strange noises.
break up sentenceOn the far side of the room,
there was a curtain that was not yet drawn. Melinda walked hurriedly toward it and saw her son, still
looking like he was sleeping, almost peacefully. Next to him was a large machine with a hose hooked up
to the tubes in his mouth, and a monitor above filled with numbers and jagged lines. She wanted,
desperately, to look away, but she was afraid if she did...she could not even want to think about that.clunky wording
This was her son and she needed to be strong for him, no matter what.

"Lucas..." she sobbed, dabbing her face with a tissue she'd pulled from her purse. She walked
over and took his hand, squeezing it tightly as she tried to stop crying.

As she let go of his hand, the monitor above his bed shrieked and lights flashed. From behind
her, Melinda heard hurried footsteps. Two nurses appeared, surrounding her.

"Oh, god," Melinda cried. "What's wrong with him?." Her face became stricken white stricken and white are referring to two different events. you can have a stricken expression and have your face go white. your face doesnt get stricken whiteand she
froze again like she had when she was in the emergency room.

One of the nurses pushed a large blue button beside the bed. "Bed fourteen, code blue. Resus
team, I need a cart in here!" she shouted at the slotted microphone grill along the side of the bed.

The other nurse grabbed Melinda around the shoulders. "I'm sorry, Ma'am. You need to move.
You don't want to see this. Come around here," he instructed. As they were walking around, it felt like
her life was going on in slow motion. As she looked back, she saw a nurse compressing his chest. like above, do some research on procedures for resuccitation when a patient is intubated, etcShe
turned her head away againcut, now in a full heaving cryI don't even know what this means. o.O. "He's in V-FIB," she heard, as it all faded out
around her. Her tunnel vision was back
this is awkward and confusing. rewrite smoother.
All in all, I think I'm too distracted by the word choices and strange phrasing to get caught up in the emotion of the mother. Do some research on hospital and medical procedures to lend some versimilitude to your scenes.

Mark.W.Carson
Posts: 233
Joined: December 15th, 2011, 9:20 am
Location: Northeastern US
Contact:

Re: Partial 1st chapter of "Eternal Question"

Post by Mark.W.Carson » December 18th, 2011, 2:33 pm

Streaking does not simply mean racing. The first thing turned up by google was, as a verb, to cover a surface with streaks. Skipping past the other points I disagree with stylistically, Ambulances, around here, have horns that they do use, in a shutter tone, even with sirens on, when they come through busy intersections.

The reason I did not include something like speeding was that I wanted the imagery of her weaving through cars that have moved for the ambulance. It was less about raw speed and more about jaggedness.

I notice that you are making a lot of suggestions related simply to style, and or grammar, and there is, in my opinion, tremendous leeway granted to an author to make their point in those regards. I do not like the tone or feel of the changes you suggest, but I thank you for them regardless.

I had toyed with the idea of making the insurance issue an introspective, but I am not 100% sold on that yet.

Also, about the gurney: read it again. They HAD just gotten it set up, not were getting, so they are now able to move him.

As for the procedure in the hospital:
I interviewed three nurses and an EMT. This is not uncommon procedure. I even did research on issues relating to hypoxia and the fact that in some cases, the damage done to irritate heart cells when starved of oxygen would push a patient into ventricular fibrillation, which is much more dangerous than the standard atrial fibrillation, which is why the patient experiences VFIB at the end of the excerpt.

Certain things are clunky, and I get that, but in some cases, they are because they are intended to be. In others, they have already been reworded slightly.

Again, on word choice, stricken is to be struck by something. She was struck white.

As above, I interviewed people in the medical profession. The nurses I spoke with were ER/ICU nurses. I vetted much of my information.

User avatar
GaoYuQing
Posts: 78
Joined: February 10th, 2011, 9:47 am
Contact:

Re: Partial 1st chapter of "Eternal Question"

Post by GaoYuQing » December 19th, 2011, 10:36 am

At the risk of sounding like I'm arguing (just meaning to clarify, not trying to be offensive) I agree in principle that while the definition of those words mean what you think, they aren't USED that way. Perhaps I've missed it, but for instance, if you can find a literary reference where someone is "Stricken white" when talking about a person's expression, I'd love to see it. I did a google search and pulled up nothing, at least on the first page. You always see it said, "she looked stricken." Same with "streaking." yes, it means to leave streaks, but not in the way and syntax of how you used it. When you say something "streaked across" something, you're meaning racing. I know you wanted to use it as leaving streaks, but the manner in which it was used sounds odd and doesn't fit the standard usage in my experience.
As for the medical advice, cool. I'm glad you did the research and that's correct. My knowledge of such things is limited to tv dramas and animal surgeries in a research facility. I just wanted to make sure. Same with the ambulance horn. Long as you did the legwork you're golden.
The advantage to adding a couple introspective moments would bring us more into her head instead of just an observer. For most of the chapter we're sitting beside her in the car as it were, watching her reactions. Bringing us inside her head will create a stronger bond with the character.
There is certainly great leeway given to authors when it comes to style, but certain turns of phrase or choice of word will make the reader hesitate and puzzle over something. I pointed out the items that made me pause and go "huh," and those were the things that stuck out at me the most. Perhaps I'm alone. As with all beta reads, the more impressions and opinions you get the better. If I'm the only one who raises the flag on this, feel free to ignore me. But if more than one person says this, consider there migth be something to it. As a word-lover from a family of word-lovers, and having read thousands of books in my life, these are just the things that give me pause. And there was enough of these in your exerpt that it actually served as a distraction. I hope you get more reviews than mine. Good luck and happy writing!

Mark.W.Carson
Posts: 233
Joined: December 15th, 2011, 9:20 am
Location: Northeastern US
Contact:

Re: Partial 1st chapter of "Eternal Question"

Post by Mark.W.Carson » December 19th, 2011, 10:53 am

After speaking to my wife about some of your points, I have changed the "white" portion to where her face went white. She liked some of your suggestions, I am not sold yet, and would rather get some opinions from an editor. Also, I am still writing and on Chapter 4, where my main character starts to become the main focus, and while I have written that chapter before, I am rebuilding it in a way that I hope is more engaging than the drek it was before.

Also, I am not 100% interested in previous literary usage. I understand that there are conventions and if I stay within them I feel a little limited. Shakespeare was the first to coin the phrase, "to catch a cold," when referring to the spread of the disease. I am not likening myself to him, or his body of work, but I do believe in the ability that an author can convey messages in unique and novel ways.

I appreciate your responses. I don't take criticism VERY well, but I do listen, and it makes me think more about how I initially plan things out vs how they actually come out. Have you ever heard an ambulance with the, and I beg your pardon for trying to type this out, make a "Wee oo Wee oo" noise and then in an intersection make a noise that sounds like a stuttering goose? In NY and NJ I have heard this a lot.

Also, based on your suggestions, I have changed the nurse who meets them to a doctor. It might make things sound more believable and flow better.

I am trying to make the first chapter sound just ever so disjointed, to give the feeling that the mother is in a hurry and a panic, but that it eventually fades as things get better. However, as much as this work is mine, if it is truly to be enjoyed, I have to understand that the readers themselves have to feel part owner in it (not counting royalties, sorry :) ). If I stay 100% true to me, and not to them, I have failed. I am willing to make concessions, especially when this makes it to an editor. Until then, this is currently an 8400 word WIP that has me hanging on the beginning of Chapter 4 (not blocked, just stopped last night after midnight).

User avatar
GaoYuQing
Posts: 78
Joined: February 10th, 2011, 9:47 am
Contact:

Re: Partial 1st chapter of "Eternal Question"

Post by GaoYuQing » December 19th, 2011, 11:41 am

I feel your pain. I think the first chapter is always the hardest. I've rewritten mine so many times I've lost track, and I'm not entirely happy with the current version (feel free to tear it a new hole, it's posted here ;) )
I'm the same way about critisicm too. I have an intial knee-jerk reaction of "no," afterwhich I have to think about it and often grudgingly accept the fact. I was just told in a work performance review that I handle criticism well and I was honestly a little stunned. *laughs* Maybe practice makes better...or I'm fooling them :twisted:
The readers play a part in the writing, but if you don't enjoy writing it or feel happy about it, then what's the point eh? In my own beta reviews, I accept those comments and thoughts I like and reject the rest with a shrug. You might be amused that my beta readers have flagged my use of lesser-known words that I like with "what's this word mean?" *sighs dramatically*

Mark.W.Carson
Posts: 233
Joined: December 15th, 2011, 9:20 am
Location: Northeastern US
Contact:

Re: Partial 1st chapter of "Eternal Question"

Post by Mark.W.Carson » December 19th, 2011, 1:26 pm

My problem is I have so much invested in this (not money, or even just time writing). This story is the reason I am writing, and I am trying to tie together concepts that are far between and create a cohesive story out of pieces of this and pieces of that. I have the beginning, I have the ending, what I need are the what happens here and the why does it go there parts of my story. The more I think about it, the more I end up getting good ideas... for sequels. I have a novel concept, I believe, and one that doesn't appear to be flavor of the month trite. What I need is how to get there, do it right and get this thing pitched. I would love to see this in print so I can show my family. I would love even more if there was ever a chance at a film adaptation. However, that being said, the portion of the chapter I have here does not even scratch the surface on plot, and much of the story is revolved around some sorts of mysteries.

It's hard to write a book somewhat geared toward YA, but yet a bit more mature, that has elements of mystery, and lots of other things tied into it. I agree with many others here. I don't enjoy writing, I enjoy having written. I like when someone likes my story.

User avatar
GaoYuQing
Posts: 78
Joined: February 10th, 2011, 9:47 am
Contact:

Re: Partial 1st chapter of "Eternal Question"

Post by GaoYuQing » December 19th, 2011, 2:32 pm

*laughs self silly*
Sorry for laughing, it's just I hear so much of my own experience in your post. I used to do art, but that gets harder with a family, so in order to salve the creative part of my brain I discovered writing. My story is honestly, possibly, the only reason I'm still alive. I started on it, having changed direction from the story I was working on before, after experiencing a traumaic life event. Instead of committing suicide, I planned it out and initiated it in the pages of my novel instead. For a while, I felt the only reason I couldn't end everything was because I needed to tell this story. (I'm better now)
I too, envision my story as a bunch of crystallized and vivid scenes, and then have to work out how to connect them all. I envision it like having a bunch of pearls and trying to string them together. It comes out to in my early drafts. My beta readers could tell I would rush through a time period to get to the next event. Then instead of getting ideas for how to connect them, I get innundated with ideas for sequels. I have notes for at least 5 other novels after I finish this trilogy.
For my current work, I don't see a movie being made, it's too brutal at times and there's enough introspection and narrator interaction I'm not sure how it could be pulled off in a neat or R and under rating. And GOD, is it different and non-mainstream :shock: My other series though I could definately see taking place on the bigscreen, and even have soundtracks choreographing favorite scenes :) But I'll be happy just to finish. I do enjoy writing, but I have so much else drawing on my time and attention, and I have a somewhat addictive personality, so unless I'm taken away from other distractions and pulls, I'll find it hard to concentrate.

Mark.W.Carson
Posts: 233
Joined: December 15th, 2011, 9:20 am
Location: Northeastern US
Contact:

Re: Partial 1st chapter of "Eternal Question"

Post by Mark.W.Carson » December 19th, 2011, 3:29 pm

Are you kidding? Most of my best ideas came through listening to the radio and having a song that would serve as a great backdrop to a scene. My main character has an issue with a suicide. Weird...

I want to finish and get this done, and I do hope it won't be utter shite as a result. I realize I am not Stephen King and I can't tell an editor to go bite it. I will have to change elements here or there, but I seriously won't compromise the integrity of it just for publication.

User avatar
GaoYuQing
Posts: 78
Joined: February 10th, 2011, 9:47 am
Contact:

Re: Partial 1st chapter of "Eternal Question"

Post by GaoYuQing » December 19th, 2011, 6:55 pm

Yes! The best xmas present I got last year was from my wife. It's a pocket recorder. I got so many ideas while driving and listening to music, but always forgot or lost them by time I could write them down. This way I can whip it out and dictate my ideas without losing it :)
For me publishing would be like gravy. If I finish it, to my satisfaction at least, I'll be thrilled. If others read and like it enough to pay me for it, well who am I to say no? :3

steveyodascott76
Posts: 9
Joined: December 27th, 2011, 7:07 pm
Contact:

Re: Partial 1st chapter of "Eternal Question"

Post by steveyodascott76 » December 31st, 2011, 9:00 pm

Hey Mark,

Thanks again for the feedback. Here is my critique.

Steve



Chapter 1

Hanging By a Thread

The worn wipers streaked across Melinda's windshield with a screech, leaving dollops of rain
and scattered bits of dried leaves behind. This may be a matter of preference, but it seems that for an opening sentence you want it as strong and arresting as possible. You want it to have a hook that sinks instantly, without it being obvious or forced. That said, I wonder if your opening sentence is too passive. What if it was simply, "The worn wipers screeched across Melinda's windshield"? When it is worded that way, I hear it as I read it, and I'm hooked. When I read it the way it is currently written, the sound of screeching is an afterthought. She'd been meaning to get them replaced, but there was no
time for that now. Her eyes were so bleary and filled with tears that she could barely even tell they
were there. All of her focus was on driving and keeping up. It took everything she had to follow the
lights of the ambulance in front of her. Anything else in her field of vision seemed dim and
unimportant. When the ambulance in front of her This phrase is reduntant as you've already established the ambulance is "in front of her" with that exact same phrase. honked its horn as it flew through a red light, she
gunned the motor and prayed she'd make it through unscathed, and ripped through the gap it had made
in the intersection. When it took a hard turn a few blocks later, she stayed glued on its tail. She wasn't
going to let it get away from her.

/Thought: It seems that at this point you are wanting to keep it a mystery from the reader why Melinda is following this ambulance and thus why we should care. But you want the reader to care. I'm guessing that you want to keep the reader wondering this so they will be compelled to read on. But wouldn't they be more compelled by reading what Melinda is really feeling (which must have to do with concern for who is in the ambulance) and therefore begin to feel it with her?/color]

Finally, after an ordeal of a drive One of the main principles I try to keep in my head while I write is "show versus tell". This phrase "after an ordeal of a drive" seems unnecessary. You just showed me the drive was an ordeal (which was great and engaging) and so this phrase seems like pandering to the reader. , the two vehicles made it to the hospital. The ambulance
whipped around the concrete divider and up the ramp to the entry way in front of the ER. Melinda
broke pursuit and headed for the parking lot. She ditched her car, half crooked Not exactly sure what "crooked" means. , in the first open parking
space that she found, hopped out, and threw the door shut. She then immediately reopened the door and
retrieved her keys from the ignition and the purse that had fallen off its perch on the seat next to her
and that hadhappened to wedged itself into the floor space of the passenger side This is a mouth full and I had to read it twice to follow. . They'd need her insurance
information, she thought.

Once more, she slammed her door and took off running to catch up with her son This feels like it is supposed to be some sort of reveal, but I find myself thinking, "I wish I would have known that sooner." . The medics
had just gotten his gurney set up and were pushing it through the entry doors. She followed them,
going as fast as her wobbly Why wobbly? Becasue of her nervousness? Anxiety? Fear? Perhaps use a word that speaks more directly to her emotion along with the word wobbly??? legs would let her --through the yellow "Triage" doors --on toward the first
nurse's station ... until they came to a rest at the main nurse's hub in the Emergency Room. There, she
could catch her breath. She bowed her head and inhaled deeply, still searching She had lost it? for her wind. New Paragraph... Looking down, she saw him --her first look at him since she saw him being fed into the rear of the ambulance. This sentence is redundant, taking me out of the story and making me aware that you are writing. How about, "Looking down, she saw for the first time since he'd been loaded in the ambulance."?
There he was, Yes, there he was. Seems unnecessary. his eyes were closed, no comma and he was hooked up to all manner of tubes. Melinda tried to
stifle the tears that came running down her face, again, no comma and smeared them back with her hands, trying to keep
herself together, but not really able to do so With the last phrase, this feels like a run-on sentence. . It was the best she could do under the circumstances,
which was not that well at all Show versus tell. Show me "which was not that well at all".

"Is this him? Are you the medics that called ahead?" the young nurse in aqua scrubs asked,
rushing around the long desk of the nurse's hub.

"This is him. His breathing is shallow ...when it even registers. We thought we lost him a few
times. We tried to intubate on the ride over but it wouldn't go." commathe first medic called out.

"Here are his last recorded vitals: 82% O2 sat, BP is 88 over 35, body temp 36 Celsius. We fell back to bag-valve mask when the tube failed. We pushed 200cc saline bolus IV en route." the second medic added.

They tried to stick a tube in "in" unnecessary down his throat while they were driving him around like that "While driving him around" feels strange. There weren't "driving him around", they were taking him to the hospital. , Melinda
thought. The very notion gave her chills and a sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach.

"They're waiting for him in Trauma 2 --Wouldn't the ambulance crew know the way?right back in there."

The medics pushed on past the nurse's station to the room behind the glass doors to her left, as
the nurse had directed.

" --Are you the mom?" the nurse asked, turning back to Melinda, who looked nervous and
frightened in the emergency room.

"Wha..? Yes --I'm his mother." Melinda said, snapping out of her daze. Her mind was swimming
and overwhelmed. She was (had been)somewhere else --somewhere not here --she wished she were anywhere
but here.

"Come with me, I need you to fill out his information."

Melinda returned a blank look to her.

"We need to know what happened --if he was on any medications --if he has any allergies," the
nurse said, taking Melinda by the hand and sitting her down near the triage nurse's desk.

Thought: Filling out information and "knowing what happened" are two different things. Maybe its just me, but this feels unnatural. I don't believe this is what a nurse would say.

"Do you want me to get you some water?"

"No, thank you," Melinda said, still breathing heavily, and trying to concentrate. Too many commas...

A few moments later, Melinda handed back the clipboard she was given "...she was given" is unnecessary. Obviously she had been given it. , the papers were
spotted with tears and the handwriting was shaky and barely readable. I love this sentence. It is strong writing and demonstrates show versus tell. It says a lot about Mom's state. It is vivid and arresting.

Melinda got up and walked over to the glass doors of the trauma rooms. As she made her way,
the doctor came out of the room her son had been taken to, and took Melinda aside. "We are going to
admit your son, Mrs. Fuller. We think we've gotten his breathing situation sorted out, so we're moving
him to intensive care."

"Does that mean he's going to be okay?" Melinda asked, hopefully.

"I wish I could tell you, but we just don't know right now. Come...follow me." the doctor
instructed. Melinda followed him to the elevator just outside the emergency room where he pushed
the button for the third floor and stepped back off the elevator.

"Just take this up and follow the arrows on the big sign. You'll see it when the doors open. --Good luck."

Melinda nodded, silently as the doors closed in front of her.

As the elevator ascended, Melinda was all by herself. When it came to a stop, she followed the
signs to the intensive care unit. It was darker here; people were sleeping. Old people looked up at her
from their beds --moaning, and machines were making strange noises. On the far side of the room,
there was a curtain that was not yet drawn. Melinda walked hurriedly toward it and saw her son, still
looking like he was sleeping, almost peacefully. Next to him was a large machine with a hose hooked up
to the tubes in his mouth, and a monitor above with numbers and jagged lines. She wanted,
desperately, to look away, but she was afraid if she did...she could not even want to think about that.
This was her son and she needed to be strong for him, no matter what.

"Lucas..." she sobbed, dabbing her face with a tissue she'd pulled from her purse. She walked
over and took his hand, squeezing it tightly as she tried to stop crying.

As she let go of his hand, the monitor above his bed shrieked and lights flashed. From behind
her, Melinda heard hurried footsteps. Two nurses appeared, surrounding her.

"Oh, god," Melinda cried. "What's wrong with him?." Her face became stricken white and she
froze again like she had when she was in the emergency room.

One of the nurses pushed a large blue button beside the bed. "Bed fourteen, code blue. Resus
team, I need a cart in here!" she shouted at the slotted microphone grill along the side of the bed.

The other nurse grabbed Melinda around the shoulders. "I'm sorry, Ma'am. You need to move.
You don't want to see this. Come around here," he instructed. As they were walking around, it felt like
her life was going on in slow motion. As she looked back, she saw a nurse compressing his chest. She
turned her head away again, now in a full heaving cry. "He's in VFIB," she heard, as it all faded out
around her. Her tunnel vision was back. This last sentence feels strange. I have to stop and think about what exactly you mean by that, which I think is that she is back in her own little world again like earlier.

All in all, I had a hard time getting into this. I don't mean to be a jerk, but I'm waisting your time if I'm not honest. It feels very cliche and a scene that has played out one too many times. This isn't always a bad thing if it fits within a greater context, but at this point in the story, I have no context. I don't really know enough about these characters nor am I drawn into the story enough to care about them.

I'd be curious to see your rewrite as this does feel a lot like a rough draft to me.

I truly hope my comments are helpful to you.

Steve

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest