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Old 03-06-2014, 11:35 AM   #4
Graham
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Annie the Dreamer

I also read Annie the Dreamer this morning; as you say, quite a disturbing tale, but I was drawn through the story nicely and it's memorable. I was thinking about it for quite a while after reading it as with a little rework I think it could pack even more 'punch'.

I'll put my comments in spoiler tags as they're specific to plot elements. I recommend that if you've not read the story yet, please do so before opening this spoiler:

Spoiler:
It jarred that Annie would leave the younger children behind and go off at the end. I had to come 'out' of the story to justify it to myself: i.e. something along the lines of, 'sheís mirroring what Sissy did', or 'she's running away to try to escape being done for murder'. I think you could plant a justification more clearly here.

Two things made me hesitate in the first two paragraphs, which was a little obstacle to reading the story, so you might want to consider recasting these slightly.

First, I wasn't immediately sure who was making the phone call, i.e. whether the opening sentence was spoken by the person on the other end of the call or the person putting down the phone. We don't find that out until the third paragraph.

Secondly, I didnít know what 'kraft pulp' was, so again I took a beat out of reading the story. Do you need to mention that the cargo is kraft pulp? Would Annie necessarily know? Could you just say 'a ship that was taking on cargo'?

Annie's silver rings are mentioned in the very first paragraph, and again later on. As a reader, I immediately assumed that the rings were going to be important to the story, perhaps bound up with her dreams in some way. I felt that this was a loose end in the story, not really resolved by her seeing the rings along the side of the ship at the end. Consider making the rings have more impact later on: for example, could they be sharp enough to hurt her assailant? Do you actually need the vegetable knife (which appears a bit conveniently)?

Or does her mother give her the rings for 'being good'?

Is the window open or closed? As it's night and you donít mention the noise of the pulp mill or the rattle and crash of the ship being loaded I naturally assumed it was shut. But then we hear the raven croak and the beat of its wings. I think you need to state that it's open, and maybe have Annie celebrate the noise or the fresh air. This could give you an opportunity to suggest further that this is a young woman who is on the edge.


Graham
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