The Drifter

The Drifter

1 chapter / 610 words

Approximately 3 minutes to read


An exercise in description, which is something I've been aiming to improve lately. Therefore, all comments and criticisms, but especially suggestions are appreciated.

I'm interested to see what people think of this in comparison to 'Vigilante Man', since I submitted both to my high school literary magazine and this was the piece that was accepted.


Writing, Short Story


Cloud cake

almost 7 years ago Linna Lee said:

Your descriptions are strongly written and very evocative of mood and the characters' feelings of weariness and routine, and in that sense, I think your descriptions are successful. In regards to a couple comments people have made about making the mystery more obvious/spelling things out - you mention the disillusionment taking place in the first lines, but this isn't returned to. There doesn't need to be an actual ACTION taking place, but I think we do need to know more about what the drifter wants. As a character, what are his desires? Why are you writing about this particular day, at this moment? If we had an answer to this, it could guide the entire piece from beginning to end. Description can serve a lot of purposes in a story, and in this one, it evinces tone and atmosphere very well, while avoiding a focus on characterization. Regardless, a well-written piece!



almost 7 years ago Ella Fee Nix said:

you are an amazing writer. this story h=is very deep and interesting. i loved the way it flowed from the man to the driver. I can tell you have edited but you still need a little more. there are some missing commas. besides that I loved your story. Great job!

Wolf howling

almost 7 years ago Åɳɳḭε said:

Interesting idea for a story. Below are some things I noticed along with suggestions/opinions. Sorry if I sound a little harsh. I'm trying to be really honest and it's rather late (so may be cranky)

"The drifter has been wandering for years, now, because even once all his illusions had been shattered, he could not bring himself to stop." This sentence was rather confusing for me to read and understand. I don't think the comma before now was necessary. And maybe instead of using "once", maybe use "when"? I think that would make more sense/be easier to read.

I don't think it should be "so easily". maybe "As easily"?

"...for his difficulties. For the drifter cuts his hair..." Starting the sentence with For doesn't make sense I think (i'm not too great on grammar, but it didn't sound right in my head. It messes with the flow)

I don't understand how the "if he must" is used. If he wants to get to the last stop, then he HAS to stay on the bus for hours... (or maybe I'm interpreting that wrong, but I still don't think it makes sense)

"Months of sitting on a bus or on a street corner, and all the irregular qualities that once distinguished him as a human being are abraded away into a surface too smooth to be comfortable for anyone to look at for very long." Don't think this sentence makes sense either. First, I don't think you need a comma before and (because they're just two things). The point of "are abraded away" is supposed to be for both the sitting on the bus and the irregular qualities, which makes no sense since one is a past action, the other nouns.

I didn't really understand your ending... or the point of the story for the matter of fact. You have a drifter who travels on a bus, leaves, and then a bus driver find his ticket? What happens to the drifter? What's the significance of the driver finding the ticket? I don't really understand what happened and how it was meaningful...

I would suggest some more action. The whole crux of it was basically a guy travelling on a bus. I understand you were practicing description, but it still needs a plot! I do like how you described certain things, but on the whole, it was somewhat boring (also may just be my opinion). Also, for descriptions, although you DID describe things, try to use more show-not-tell. Like, instead of saying how he cut his hair, etc, maybe just describe his hair and looks using comparisons and stuff. (better example: instead of saying someone sighed sadly, say how their whole body slid downwards, their shoulders sagging under the burden of their feelings, their eyes casted down, trying to see their frowning mouth. or something like that) You seem to outright try to describe things rather than doing it without directly doing it.

Despite all of these things, I think you have lots of promise! (I'm no writing expert. These are just my opinions and I DON'T want you to take them too harshly. I just want to help. Really.) I like how you created the mood of the story, because I could completely imagine a dark evening/night with a lonely person wandering aimlessly around. Just thought you might want to make the story more interesting for readers.

~ Annie P.S. If you want, please read and review my story, Melody of the Heart! (I'm so very sorry for this blatant self-advertising)