White Flag; a story

Hi friends and followers!

Sorry I’ve been AWOL for far too long, but you know how life gets. I’ve just had uni assignments and readings, and every time I sit down to relax, I remember I’ve got to be doing something else … I’m looking forward to holidays, let me tell you!

Anyway, I was wondering if anyone had any spare time, could they read over a short story I’ve written for an assignment? I would value as much feedback as possible. You can comment here, or on this link (if you have a deviantART profile) or wherever else I’ll be able to see it.

Here’s the description I wrote on the piece to give you a little more background:

A piece I wrote for an upcoming assignment. The criteria is to combine two forms (which I have done here with prose and script), but it’s slightly too long (about 100 words over the limit) and I need to cut it down. So if you see any unnecessarily wordy parts, please tell me. Or even if you think a scene is unnecessary. I thought I was doing pretty well, because after workshopping it in class I had to shorten the whole piece by 200 words AND the teacher wanted me to put in the whole letter sequence. So that was fun.

Please tell me what you think! Are there some parts that don’t work? Any historical inaccuracies (I’m afraid my knowledge of early-1940s England leaves much to be desired) or narrative plot holes?

NOTE: Although there are script segments, I do not intend for it to be performative; they are only there (aside from meeting the assignment’s criteria) to reflect the imaginings of the mother, and contrast them against her realities.

I would be so appreciative of any help you are able to give. Thank you in advance!

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4 thoughts on “White Flag; a story

  1. Can’t comment on deviantart so I’ll do it here, because I’ve just read it, during breakfast, and I want to react, in my small way.
    Your writing is splendid in many ways, and I can’t really judge on the quality of your English as I’m far from a specialist or a native; to me, it’s beautifully written and a pleasure to go through. The story and theme in itself reminded me at first, of course, of the Chronicles of Narnia. Then it became even darker and more complex. I’m not sure I perfectly understood the purpose of your assignment, of mixing prose and script; if the script is supposed to be like a cinema or theatre one, I believe I’ve learned to type it in a different form, but it doesn’t really matter as I could get the whole story with no problem. The idea of changing from dream to reality is often a tricky one, too, but I think you did well on that point! At least I didn’t get lost at all.

    Now about the content itself. I don’t pretend to be a specialist in WW2 England, even though it’s now my second country, but I don’t see obvious mistakes. There are actually just a few things that, in my opinion, could be subject to correction.
    First, the boy’s way of calling his mother ‘ma’; it isn’t shocking but I’ve always thought this was more American than British, and though I don’t expect an apparently middle/lower-class boy to call his mother ‘Mama’, a simple ‘Mum’ sounds more natural. There again, it is only my point of view and I might absolutely be mistaken!
    On the same idea, I find the letter’s content too mature to be from a 14 years old boy. Of course, being in the 1940s brings another level of language, but I’d imagine that even if war has made him more mature, he’s still a relatively young boy, and would be more effusive in this single letter written to his mother. Especially if that’s something that she imagines more than actually reads… It might be a bit clichΓ©, but doesn’t she deserve even a little ‘love’ written on that letter?
    That’s all that came to my mind on second reading. I don’t really know how you could shorten this, but you’ll manage, for sure πŸ˜‰ I really appreciated the recurring figure of the train as a means and object of separation, reunion, and pain, same for the train station. The scene when the mother learns that all boys have been sent up to war was in my opinion perfectly on time in the story and cold enough of simplicity – and fear. As for the end, I guess it’s on everyone’s appreciation to believe what they wish to. I didn’t imagine you could have such ‘darkness’ to pour out on words but that was brilliantly interesting!

    Hope everything’s fine with uni and exams, good luck with that!

    • Thanks so so much Ed!
      I’m pleased you enjoyed it, and understood it (though I’m not sure whether that’s a testament to my writing or your understanding of English πŸ˜› ).

      I took your suggestions and made them so! In fact, I struggled with the ‘ma/mum’ thing even in the first draft. I originally had ‘mother’ but that sounded too formal, so thank you for pushing me to change it back to ‘mum’. I prefer it.
      And I didn’t want to write the letter sequence (my teacher wanted me to, though, as he couldn’t understand why they didn’t write, though there were quite a few post offices bombed during that time, so I … but, well … anyway) so thank you for providing that criticism. I tried to fix it up, and I hope I have πŸ™‚

      I’m glad you liked it, even though it was quite dark! (Something a little different from me.)

      Thanks again! I really do appreciate your help!

      • My pleasure Blake, if I have to take an employment as a literature teacher I might as well start now πŸ˜‰ I hope it’ll work out well and you’ll let us know what you professor thought about it!

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