Reply To: A Blank Piece of Paper (short Story – critique)

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Thanks Philippa, the good news is that I have kept it but hopefully I’ve made it more oblique. I’ve kept it where it is in the story and I have taken Kate’s suggestion and move the father vignette towards the end as a reveal to tie it all together.

The new phone vignette is:

Sprawled on bed, phone wedged between your shoulder and your ear, you listened to the steady flow of Ashley’s words as she filled you in about her new boss.

“I met someone,” you said when she asked what’s new with you.

“Oh… that’s great.”

“What?” you asked, lighting a cigarette the first one since Sam ended things.

“Nothing, I’m happy for you.” Silence hardened between you; she broke it first with a laugh. “I just hate sharing you.”

The comment unnerved you, the long drag you took from your cigarette turned your cheeks hollow. You dedicated yourself to each relationship to make a success of them. You tended to them like your grandmother had looked after her bonsai trees – with meticulous care. Ashley should be supportive of your happiness. It was not about her.

“Anyway, do you want to catch a movie this weekend? “Ashley asked.

“I can’t, I’m going to a Yoga retreat with Tom.”