Beggars can't be choosers Maegan.

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Apr 12, 2022·edited Apr 12, 2022Liked by Maegan Heil


Unfortunately(said with tongue-in-cheek), your story does a good job of generating an unpleasant experience for the reader—at least this reader. I enjoy feeling something, rather than nothing when reading a story. This happened for me here. Even if the feeling is "negative." (As we know, emotions are neither "good" or "bad" they just are), so this story/scene pulled me along, and triggered memories of my misspent youth.

N0t sure if this helps, but will point out a few of the obvious aspects of this story that makes Morning After work—for me at least.

The conflict is clear: the narrator's desperate dehydration is palpable, as is their desire to quench their thirst. Their goal is clear: narrator's gotta get hold of a bottle of something drinkable on the other side of the room.

The obstacles are clear: in addition to alcohol positioning, the narrator and has to get past the physical obstacles of other humans passed-out on the floor to get to a bottle of something that might be hydrating. This creates tension in the reader's mind—while revealing the character (narrator steps on someone and says sorry)

Even though there is little description, I was able to sense the narrator’s hungover condition. (The repeating of "good party" did that for me). That plus the stuffy after-party stench of cigarettes, spilled beer (not mentioned explicitly but its there in the back of my mind), people snoring in musty sleeping bags, living room floor strewn with bodies—a living floor in a living room. Things were’t overly described, allowing me to fill things in organically, which I always appreciate in certain situations.

I liked the coke pepsi lines. Highlighted for me the illusion of choice for a narrator who may not have made the best choices the night before.

As unpleasant as a hangover can be, it's an experience that I was able to relate to. I like the way it went from a “not too terrible situation” to one that became more unpleasant.

Field Trip was similar in that way. Went from a fun playful experience that digresses rapidly into an experience of repulsiveness and embarrassment. Unpleasant, yes, but generating an experience in the reader nonetheless. The nature of the experience may not be considered "positive," by most people, but it is good that any feeling is generated in the reader.

So, on that note of "quality" do you know Eleven by Sandra Cisneros? If not, I thought you might find aspects of this story interesting. It's short, but packs in ample amounts of emotional qualities for the reader, and does so in a few pages.


Also see if you can get hold of the short story "The Hangover" by John D. MacDonald.

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