A Story by Nirupama.H

A short story about an unusual visit and reactions to it.



The newspaper agency had a hard time publishing this particular article. The crew had no history, drama or gossip to base their story on. The best reporters found no one to interview and there was nothing left for the editor to work on when the draft finally reached his desk. This is why the headline on the day's newspaper simply said: 
"God to pay a visit on the 23 rd."
The rest of the column was filled with an advertisement stretched to illegibility(- A solution reached after an elaborate board meeting of the best from the design team.) 
Early next morning, a thousand prints were sent to a thousand different houses.

 Mr.A opened the newspaper with a sigh. "These superstitious people! You all need to get a job someplace and feed yourselves better.. Then you'll see the world clearly." He had seen a friend- who turned into a believer- walking around in plain clothes, eating plain food; and simplicity, to him, meant poverty.

Mr.B opened the paper with an "Ah!" and thought out loud- "So it is true then, this rumor? But one can never trust these newspapers nowadays." 
Mrs. B replies from her room, " I believe it's true!.. and I would love to catch a glimpse of Him!" "The 23rd, eh? We shall go if I finish work early that day.. I wouldn't mind seeing him myself.. But don't you think it'll be crowded?" Mrs. B considered the question for a moment and replied, "My cousin's friend had been to a show in town a few days ago and she said the crowd was OK, of course there were cranky kids who........." and on she went with perhaps finer details than the cousin's friend could ever supply. 

Mr.C was getting late to work that day. He just took a glimpse at the headline before heading off in his car. "The 23rd?! I thought it was going to be the 25th! They really shouldn't change dates this way. What inconvenience it causes!" He then climbed into the driver's seat and drove away. 

The whole town, in fact, can be categorized into many Mr. A's, B's, and C's regarding this matter.

© 2017 Nirupama.H

My Review

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You're placing effect before cause, which guarantees that the reader has no context. You can't talk about things you'll later identify, as if the reader knows what you mean, because they won't.

Look at the flow:

• The newspaper agency had a hard time publishing this particular article.

1. I have no clue of what a newspaper agency is, but assume you mean newspaper. But where, and when? Publishing changes by location and era, so it matters to the reader's perception of your meaning.
2. A hard time publishing? As in the press broke? It was against the law? Again, the reader has no context. Remember, your intent for a line, or even a word, doesn't make it to the page, so the reader must take meaning as the words suggest to them, based on THEIR background and situation. And explaining later cannot retroactively remove the confusion as they read.
2. "This" article? Were this a film the speaker would be pointing to it. But the printed word doesn't provide images.

In short, why not make the reader know who they are, where they are, and what's going on as they need it for context?

Next, as I read this, it was, clearly, a transcription of you telling the story aloud. That works, if the audience can hear the emotion in your voice, the intensity, cadence, and all the tricks of storytelling.

They would also see the emotion on your face as you speak, illustrating the emotion within the piece with expression, eye movement, body language, and gesture. But none of that makes it to the page. All the reader has is the words of someone unknown talking ABOUT the story, when they really wanted you to make them live it, in real-time.

The problem you face is universal. We all leave school thinking we know how to write. But remember all those reports and essays they made you write? The kind of writing we learn is designed to prepare us for employment, so it's what employers need: nonfiction writing skills—useless for fiction because they're author-centric and fact-based, like this story, at the moment. Nonfiction's goal is to inform. But people turn to fiction for entertainment, so it's emotion-based and character-centric. But they never tell us in school, because the teachers learned to read in the same classrooms, so most of them believe that what they teach is useful in any field of writing.

Think about how much time your teachers spent on the role of the scene-goal, using tags, and why a scene usually ends in disaster for the protagonist, That's how complete your fiction writing education is.

It' not about good or bad writing, talent, or even the story. It's that through no fault of your own, you're using a set of writing tools that don't work for the printed page, and that's fixable.

Your local library's fiction writing section (but not usually the school's) can be a great resource. My personal suggestion would be one of two books as a starting point.

Dwight Swain's. Techniques of the Selling Writer is the best I've found, but it's not an easy first book, because he was a university professor, so it can be a bit dry. Still, it is the best.

Easier, is Debra Dixon's, GMC:Goal Motivation & Conflict. It's an easier read, though doesn't go as deeply into the subject.

Both are great for a grounding in the nuts-and-bolts of story presentation. Both should be read several times, and both should be read slowly, with lots of time to think over each point as it's raised, and to practice the point and make its usage automatic, so you don't forget it exists a week later.

Sorry my news isn't better, but keep in mind that nothing I said has to do with you, your talent, or the story, just the tricks of the trade. And they are the learned part of the profession

Hang in there, and keep on wrirting.

Jay Greenstein

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 Year Ago

Thanks a lot for your time and review. I definitely have a long way to go to and a lot of correction.. read more
Neither I am afraid as no one knows when He is coming but He Himself. Valentine

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 Year Ago

Thank you for reading and commenting

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2 Reviews
Added on January 1, 2017
Last Updated on January 2, 2017
Tags: Newspaper, town, God, visit




Hey there! I'm a 19 year old student from India. Feel free to comment on my works after reading them. Constructive criticism is always appreciated. more..