Most people celebrate Home Comings, the deceased, it is said, are Going Home, this young lady though was waiting on a Home Going…
Lillie McFerrin posts a “Five Sentence Fiction” prompt.
This week it is: Waiting
I don’t care if it took ten days in this rain, I would have waited right here in this spot for that train to arrive.
If I could have, I would have left town in a taxi, but there ain’t no taxi service, or flew out by plane if this damn town had a damn airport, or even taken a bus, God forbid, if there even was a terminal in this interminable stink hole of a place.
But other than the one road in and out, and I have no car, my only choice was this once-every-ten-day train.
Now that it’s here, I tell you I don’t care how long it takes me to get somewhere, but I’m going somewhere.
And each whistle of that upcoming train jolts me into smelling the fresh air of that new dream, seeing that different life on up ahead, and tasting all those sweet opportunities that await me in that place where I’ll end up being, that place that I’ll finally, maybe, call home.
I love the way you lead into your FSF!
I enjoy writing the lead-in’s for all my blogs – hopefully, enticing the reader to want to read more, and helping them to enter the piece seamlessly with a little clue about what’s to come.
The lead-in was helpful 🙂
The post was Imaginative and thought provoking while being interesting in itself 🙂
good. I’m glad you thought that way about it.
Very engaging. I wondered, did you consider putting the story in the present tense? The picture seems so immediate–what is happening at this moment. A girl on the cusp of a new future. But, I know, one can be looking on a moment of the past just as easily.
I thought i was in the present tense?
Did I slip on back to the past?
My mind is slipping, that I know.
What were we talking about?
No, make that, in the present tense, what are we talking about?
No, wait – who is you?
I get very confused about tenses when it comes to dialogue. So, don’t quote me on the subject. I was just struck by how vibrant the girl’s views and opinions were. I thought it would be even more so in ‘happening right now’ speech. That’s all.
Hey, please give me an example, if you would, using one of the lines from the FF above. I’d like to see what you have in mind. OK?
Instead of: “I don’t care if it took ten days in this rain, I would have waited right here in this spot for that train to arrive.”
I imagined: “I don’t care if it takes me ten days in this rain, I would rather wait right here in this spot for the train to arrive.”
This way, the action is current rather than reflective. (Remembered.) You can do it both ways, I just like the immediacy of the now with such impassioned statements.
I can see how the ‘conversational’ mode has clouded the issue. Since the character is ‘talking’ to the reader in a sense, it is coming across in her voice/language. This makes tense trickier. It is perfectly possible to say something using the past tense in dialogue while at the same time the scene is occurring in the present tense. It is just a delicate landmine of grammar to trip through. I avoid ‘would have’, ‘might have’, ‘will have done’ constructions as if they were infectious. But, sometimes, you just can’t avoid those pesky ‘would have, should have, could haves’ no matter how hard you try.
Nice. Thank you.
I now see what you are driving at.
I will try to watch my use of tense as I create dialogue in future pieces.
I understand what you’re suggesting with immediacy (vs. reflection) of the words of the character. I like it. I think i tend to be more reflective…. and it comes out in my writing.
I think keeping tense and natural momentum in fiction is one of the hardest parts of writing. I tend to write ‘in the moment’ with all my juices flowing. It feels great…then you come back to it days later and wonder what you were thinking (or drinking) when you wrote it.
I’m writing a piece now, and as is my usual style I find myself writing, “I was” instead of “I am”. It’s not easy keeping the action in the present tense. It’s a good, but painful, exercise. I look forward to see if I can keep it up and how it works. Randy