Like They Do In Fairytales

Fiction By Damaris Ann // 11/23/2014

Edit: I wrote this to practice telling a story starting at the present and telling what happened in the past through the characters.
It also happens to be from a dream that I had a week or two ago. :) me and dreams...

Loretta Morgan (or as her loved ones called her, Lori) looked down at her cream-colored lace dress to make sure that every layer and ruffle was in place before she descended the staircase into the ballroom. Her dark brown hair was settled into its waves and puffs, twisted into a loose bun with curls framing her face and neck. Her lips and cheeks were pink with excitement and anticipation. Her brown eyes sparkled with excitement yet her hand trembled with that dread that was lurking in the back of her mind and her foot hesitated to take the first step. What will I say to him? Will he even be here? With these thoughts she almost turned around but her mother nodded to her reassuringly. Lori sent up a silent prayer. "Lord, please help me find him, please! In Jesus' holy name, amen."
After praying she felt a new courage, so she drew up the front of her skirts and began her descent. Many eyes turned to watch Lori walk down the stairs for her gracefulness was shown in every movement, and she looked a pretty picture in her dress of lace and pearls.
Lori scanned the faces below her, and her face fell as she missed the one face that she wanted to see. But she smiled again, knowing that he might still be there, or that he might not have arrived yet. She chatted pleasantly with some old acquaintances, keeping an eye out for him all the while.
It was the first ball of the season in a well-known sea resort in Galveston, but Lori had been there the year before so she already knew many of the people and places there.
Lori sat out of the first three dances, closely watching all of the people, looking for him. Finally at the beginning of the fourth waltz she consented to dance with her young cousin, Charles, but she watched the other people, still looking. The knot in her stomach tightened as she watched the faces whirl by, one by one, and not one of the faces belonged to him. Oh, how she wanted to see him, to ask him if he still loved her, to feel the pressure of his hand in hers! She swallowed her tears and smiled gayly at Charles, hoping he would think that the extra brightness in her eyes was from excitement, not tears. The waltz that they were dancing drew to a close and as she stood up from her curtsey and looked over her lacy fan she locked eyes with Carl Milton. Without a word they made their way to each other, meeting in the middle of the room with people parted on either side, just like they do in fairytales. When Lori reached Carl she held out her hand and said uncertainly, "Carl! I have been looking all over for you since I arrived. I knew I would find you here!"
His eyes lit up and he smiled joyfully at her as he grasped her hand, and then the light in his eyes smoldered while he said in an almost cold, hard voice, "I must say that it is a surprise to me that you would be looking for me."
Lori looked puzzled. "What do you mean, Carl? Can we go somewhere a little more private and talk?"
"Would the beach suit you?"
"Yes" and Lori took Carl's arm as they strolled towards the beach. Before they got to the door Lori turned and smiled at her mother to let her know that she had found him.
On the beach they waited to talk until they had walked far enough away from the verandas that surrounded the dance-floor. When they were far enough away Carl started with, "Why didn't you ever write to me after I left?"
"Oh Carl! I tried every way I could to find you, but everywhere I went was a dead end!"
"But I gave you my address!"
"I know you did, but I didn't have time to read it before I got on the train, and then right after the train started somebody snatched my purse and jumped off."
"Oh, well that explains your silence over the last year. When you never wrote to me I tried to write you, but every letter came back unread and marked 'return to sender'"
"But I never received a letter from you! May I see the address that you sent the letters to?"
He pulled a worn little piece of paper out of his pocketbook and handed it to her. She took it and eagerly looked at it and then broke into a rather strained laugh, and laughed on hysterically for several minutes. Carl turned his head away until she had gotten control over herself and then he asked her sarcastically what she had seen that was so funny.
"I'm sorry Carl, you must think me an awful beast to go on so. I must have been nervous, or in a hurry when I wrote that down because I gave the wrong zip-code, and so your letters were going to someone three or four counties away from me! I am so sorry! I don't know what to say."
"Never mind. I must confess that after those letters came back unopened I began to think that maybe you had just been playing with me. Will you forgive me for mistrusting you, darling?"
"Of course, Carl! You had every reason to believe me to be nothing more than a coquet."
"When that thief snatched your purse did he take your ring?"
"No, I have it on under my glove. Here it is all safe! But how funny fate is, that my purse was snatched and that I gave you the wrong address!"
"Never mind all that, Lori. God works in mysterious ways, and we found each other at last. That is all that really matters, isn't it?"
Lori agreed with him, and they walked on happily together, remembering how they had met the year before, and reliving the day that they had gotten married.

*****Several hours later at the dinner table enter Mrs. Morgan*****

"How long do you have until you must go back to your ship, Mr. Milton?"
"Actually, Mrs. Morgan, that is what I wanted to tell you. I retired last month and have come into my fathers estate here in Galveston. If you and Mr. Morgan would rather not have Lori so far away from you, I can sell it and find a place closer to your home."
"I don't think that will be necessary, Carl, but I will run it by my husband. Oh, did Lori tell you about when we got home last year?"
"Yes, she did. I still wish that there was a way for us to get married after we asked for Mr. Morgan's consent, but thinking it over there really was no way unless we waited for (what we thought would be) four years. But by God's grace everything worked out."
Loretta beamed at him and said, "Oh Carl! God has been so good to us! And I am thankful that Mamma and Papa have been so understanding. I am especially thankful that you, Mamma, were here with me when I met Carl, and helped me to make the right decisions."
Her mother smiled her welcome and Carl turned to Loretta with a question.
"Lori, earlier you said that you knew I would be here this year; how did you know?"
"Before you went on your ship last year you told me that you came to this resort every time you came home, and that I would find you here in the summer season after you returned.
Carl, did I tell you that Papa's telegram came a quarter of an hour after you sailed?"
"No, you didn't! That is so odd. But I am still glad that we at least tried to get his consent before we married."
"Yes, I just wish that you could have seen the telegram before you sailed so that you wouldn't have had to feel guilty about it for a year."
"Well, it didn't hurt me, and 'All's well that ends well' We are back together and your father is perfectly happy with our marriage, so I would say that we should let go of our regrets and start again where we are."
And they did. Carl and Loretta wound up moving into Carl's estate in Galveston, where they lived "Happily ever after" just like they do in fairytales.
Their "affair" was talked about in social circles for several months and then was dropped when a visiting Duke from England eloped with Betty Harris.

Comments

I like the ideas behind this,

I like the ideas behind this, but I have lots and lots of (hopefully) helpful suggestions regarding showing vs. telling, developing a voice, etc. I will attend to that when I get home. :) happy Thanksgiving!

Erin | Thu, 11/27/2014

"You were not meant to fit into a shallow box built by someone else." -J. Raymond

Thanks! I would love to hear

Thanks! I would love to hear any ideas/pointers that you have to give me.
Happy Thanksgiving to you, too!!!
God bless you!

Damaris Ann | Thu, 11/27/2014

My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭55:8-9‬

Okay, here are my critiques!

Okay, here are my critiques! Let me start by saying that this is completely my opinion and how I would probably revise this, so whatever you don't like, ignore. Your writing style is completely your own--these are just the things I thought about as the reader.
So, I noticed that this has sort of a Jane Austen-ish feel to it, and that is awesome. I love Jane Austen! However, most of the story is being told to me instead of shown. Instead of me feeling the characters and understanding their past through thoughts (which I noticed is something you're wanting to work on, according to the author's note), I felt a little confused and like I was collecting bits and pieces as I went on. I'm going to copy and paste a few things with critiques in brackets, so hopefully I won't be too confuddling :).
We'll start off with a couple of instances of telling vs. showing:
The society girl [even though this is an introduction, I would start by using her name. It's more personal] looked down at her cream-colored lace dress to make sure that every layer was in place and to settle her pearl necklace and pale pink roses before she descended the staircase into the ballroom [I can tell that you have a very specific vision of what she looks like. It's a good picture, but it would be better if you spaced it out throughout the opening scene more. Otherwise it seems like too much information at once]. Her dark brown hair was settled into it's [should be its] waves and puffs, twisted into a loose bun with curls framing her face and neck [end sentence here, cut out the 'and'], and her lips and cheeks were pink with excitement and anticipation [good]. Her brown eyes sparkled yet her hand trembled [conflicting information. What do you mean by her eyes sparkled? Was it excitement? Anticipation? But her hand trembled? Then why are her eyes sparkling? You see what I mean], and her foot hesitated to take the first step. Her mother nodded to her reassuringly, and she [the girl or her mother? You find out in a second, but it isn't clear immediately] sent up a silent prayer. "Lord, please help me find him, please! In Jesus' holy name, amen."
After praying she felt a new courage, so she drew up the front of her skirts and began her descent. Many eyes turned to watch Loretta Morgan (or as her loved ones called her, Lori) [if her loved ones called her Lori, it's better to refer to her as such throughout the story. It helps the reader identify with the character. If you want me to know her full name, then have someone refer to her by it or something] walk down the stairs for she was truly graceful in every movement, and she made a pretty picture in her old-fashioned dress of lace [I suggest rewording this. It's not a bad sentence, just sort of awkward phrasing].

In the next section Loretta finds Carl Milton. When they see each other, it's supposed to be a magical moment. You have the skeleton of that moment there, but with some fleshing out you could make it really nice. Try extending the scene where she is watching the dancers or when she is dancing with her cousin. Make us feel the butterflies in her stomach and the hopeful ache in her chest while she waits to see him.
When Loretta reached Carl she held out her hand and said, "Carl! I have been looking all over for you since I arrived here three days ago. I knew I would find you here! We need to talk."
He took her hand and suggested that they take a walk on the sand shore together. [it would be good here to have Carl say something. They're reuniting after some time and I want to know what he says! I want to hear the bashfulness/anger/uncertainty/boldness in his voice. But since he doesn't say anything, I don't know who this Carl guy is or what terms he is on with Loretta].

Loretta agreed with him, and they walked on happily together, remembering how they had met the year before, and reliving the time when they had gotten married. [More dialogue. I want to know what she said. And SAY WHAT?? They're married??? Again, with some more fleshing out, I may have gotten more of a sense of this earlier].

And they did. Carl and Loretta wound up moving into Carl's estate in Galveston, where they lived "Happily ever after" just like they do in fairytales.
Their "affair" was talked about in social circles for several months and then was dropped when a visiting Duke from England eloped with Betty Harris. [I'm a little lost on this whole last section. I wasn't exactly sure who was talking with who. Anyway, I would switch these last two sentences. It seems like an awkward way to end the story since we don't know the Duke or Betty Harris].

What makes writing and reading so special is that we have our own pictures. We aren't being told who the characters are or what they look like. Everybody, if allowed, has their own interpretation of someone. It's like meeting friends you never would have otherwise. I hope I didn't seem too harsh! I think you have the bones for a sweet little story. Please let me know if you have any questions about anything or if I was completely muddled!

Erin | Thu, 11/27/2014

"You were not meant to fit into a shallow box built by someone else." -J. Raymond

Oh Erin, that was SO

Oh Erin, that was SO helpful!!! It wasn't muddled at all.
I WAS hoping for a Jane Austin type of story, but like I said the idea came from another dream I had, like "Greater Love" did.
I am planning on (hopefully) turning this into a full novel. I can't do too many major changes right now because I am working on the sequel to GL and hopefully putting them together to make a novel. (Writing a novel seems to be all that I can think about). The changes that you suggested are so good, and I will start editing next week!
Thank you so much for pointing all of that out. I couldn't agree with you more.
God bless you!

Damaris Ann | Fri, 11/28/2014

My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭55:8-9‬

Good for you! Glad I could be

Good for you! Glad I could be helpful. :)

Erin | Fri, 11/28/2014

"You were not meant to fit into a shallow box built by someone else." -J. Raymond

Thanks!

Thanks!

Damaris Ann | Fri, 11/28/2014

My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭55:8-9‬

:)

Lovely imagery, Damari! (that's what we decided on, right? I think?)
I was a little confused reading this, especially when she met Carl. Erin summed up my thoughts: "I want to know what she said. And SAY WHAT?? They're married???"

Yeah, me too! But that's okay :) I agreed with most of Erin's critiques. And I just want to say, I think you are a great writer, and you will only get better and better with practise -- which is what you are doing!

Maddi | Sun, 11/30/2014

Goodbye? Oh no, please. Can’t we just go back to page one and start all over again?” – Winnie The Pooh

Yep that's it! :) And thanks,

Yep that's it! :)
And thanks, Maddi. I do have a lot of editing to do. I will see if I can make that more clear!

Damaris Ann | Sun, 11/30/2014

My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭55:8-9‬

Okay. I just did a bit of

Okay. I just did a bit of editing. I am not quite done yet. When it gets to the ***** is where I stopped editing.
And the reason that I ended with that bit about Betty Harris and the Dike is because that is the opening for part two. :)
Let me know what you think!
Thanks so much for all of your help and encouragement.
God bless you!

Damaris Ann | Tue, 12/02/2014

My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭55:8-9‬

Much better! Inserting the

Much better! Inserting the part about the ring was good, but it still seemed sudden that they were married. Good job though, this was much, much better!

Erin | Tue, 12/02/2014

"You were not meant to fit into a shallow box built by someone else." -J. Raymond

Thanks! I'll work on it a

Thanks! I'll work on it a little bit more this evening if I have time.

Damaris Ann | Tue, 12/02/2014

My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭55:8-9‬

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