|Thank you for entering my 500-Word Flash Fiction Contest (2-21-09 thru 2-28-09)!
I've reviewed your piece entitled:
and wish to give you my humble opinions, comments and interpretation in order to help, strengthen and encourage you.
Point of View (Who is the story teller?):
This story is told by an elderly lady.
Time and Place:
Daytime, in town, close to a park.
Situation or Circumstance:
An elderly lady, though living in the confines of a nursing home, seems to savor every moment of freedom. She especially likes to frequent a certain park and doesn't mind stopping traffic if necessary.
General Plot (chain of events):
The author's plot is clear and concise as he uses an elderly lady to tell us about a frequent experience in her life, how she longs to be free --- living on her own, making her own choices, enjoying the fresh air found out-of-doors.
Exposition (background information):
We know this lady is nearing the end of her life and has learned the wisdom of enjoying the freedom most of us take for granted. She is definitely not a wallflower by the description of her outing, her thoughts and motivations.
Protagonist (main character):
An unnamed elderly lady.
Other Important Characters:
None, other than the minivan driver from the nursing home.
...when she sees the minivan from the nursing home.
Conflicts I see are:
--she stops the flow of traffic;
--the site of the minivan pulling to the curb, stops her from enjoying the nearby park;
--she is confined to a nursing home and, therefore, is no longer free to live her life by her own means and will.
(1) She stops traffic; and (2) the appearance of the minivan.
I found the title appropriate and inspiring. I would definitely be drawn to this piece if browsing the site for something to read and, perhaps, review.
The resolution of the story is when this elderly lady's trip is cut short as the fateful minivan from St. Anne's Home for the Elderly pulls to the curb to interrupt her excursion.
Theme (controlling idea or central insight, the purpose of the story):
Freedom -- how we should enjoy it while and when we can.
Areas to be reviewed for improvement:
In the last sentence of the first paragraph I found "experiences" should be "experience" and ...for example - "were" should be "was."
My favorite part:
She escaped the cloistered confines of her own residence as often as she could knowing, even as she left, that the freedom would be short-lived. The hunt was on, she was sure, and would soon end. There was only one park nearby, and it always drew her as a moth to a flame. To be sure, the grounds where she lived were well maintained but, as she always reminded the others, the grass was inside the walls and, therefore, held captive even as they were.
My overall thoughts in a nutshell:
I enjoyed reading BE FREE! I found it flowed nicely and told a "proverbial" story in the sense that we sometimes don't appreciate what we have until it's gone. One of the most important things we have to enjoy is freedom.
If anything I've said is not helpful to you, please think it over. Disregard it, if necessary, because you are the author and these are merely my personal thoughts/comments.
If you have any questions; or if you feel I've missed some aspect of your writing, let me know.
-- Thank you, Dr. J
A helpful link for every writer: http://www.unc.edu/depts/wcweb/handouts/passivevoi...