I'm not a Baby, ch1

This is the start of my new story. Enjoy :slight_smile:
I’m Not A Baby - gabzas331

‘Stephanie! Mark is here!’
‘OK mum, I’ll be right down, just let me finish doing my makeup!’

Stephanie Anderson sat in her room, preparing for her night out with her boyfriend. They had been going out for just over three weeks, and this was her first proper date, not just in this relationship, but in her whole seventeen years of life. She had the looks, the intelligence, the personality, but not the luck and she had a bad record with boys.

‘Hurry Up! He’s waiting for you!’ yelled her mother.

‘Sheesh, Mum! Be more patient!’ Steph replied, grabbing her handbag and keys, while combing her soft, blond hair. ‘I’ll be back around midnight, see you then!’ She called on her way out, to which her mother replied, ‘OK, keep your pants on!’

‘Great to see you, Mark.’
‘Great to see you too, Steph. You look stunning.’
Steph Giggled. ‘Thanks Mark! I’m really excited for tonight!’
‘Same,’ Mark smiled.
They arrived at the Bistro Du Vin about ten minutes later. The food was delicious - succulent meat, beautifully prepared meals and superb trifle for dessert. Steph had an odd feeling in her stomach, but decided it was indigestion and ignored it. As the couple were walking home, the odd feeling grew to a pain, but Steph still didn’t let it disturb her.
‘Thanks for a great evening Mark, I loved every minute,’ Steph whispered gently to Mark as they reached her front door.‘No problem Steph,’ He replied as they shared a goodbye kiss. ‘See you tomorrow!’
‘See you!’

That night Steph had trouble sleeping. The pain in her chest refused to budge, even with paracetamol. Around three, she finally dropped off into a deep slumber. When she awoke she felt odd. It was as if she was…
Wet.
She looked at her PJ bottoms and saw that, to her horror, that she had wet herself during the night. Plus, just to top it off, the pain in her chest had got worse while she was asleep. She hid her pajamas underneath her bed, got up and got on with her day. She had a long conversation with Mark in the morning, completely draining her phone credit, and had a cheese and ham sandwich for lunch. After she played on her xbox for a while.
When she finished on the xbox, she noticed that again she was wet. She screamed, and burst into tears. Luckily her mother was out, so she didn’t hear.
‘What is wrong with me?’ She thought. She couldn’t fathom what had made her lose her bladder control suddenly, and wanted to find out. She had to see a doctor, but to see a doctor she would have to tell her mum. She changed her pants and trousers, and continued with her day as normal. Over dinner, she came out to her mum.
‘Mum?’
‘Yes, sweetie?’
‘There is something I want to tell you…’ she already had tears running down her face. ‘last night, I wet myself while I was sleeping. I thought it was a one-off, but then this afternoon, I was on the xbox, and… and…’ She couldn’t go any further for crying. Her mum tried to console her. ‘Don’t worry sweetheart, I’ll take you along to the doctor tomorrow and we’ll sort it out, I promise. And I don’t think any less of you - in fact, I think more of you for being brave and telling me.’
Stephanie’s eyes had a look of relief in them. ‘Thank you mum. Thank you…’ She tried to continue but it degenerated into sobbing.
‘Don’t worry sweetie. It’s going to be ok.’

Re: I’m not a Baby, ch1

hmmm not the best start, but i wanna see where this goes so keep going :wink:

Re: I’m not a Baby, ch1

There are many problems with this, the main problem being an overly used cliche plot. However, even the most cliche plots can be told in a unique enough fashion to make a good story so I’ll hold back on that for a while.

First off, we have no setting or exposition. Who is Stephanie, we know nothing about her other than her track record with boys apparently and really…that describes about half of anyone who’s ever dated, man or woman. Other than that we have a physical description, which is not really anything to go on. We know -what- she is, a 17 year old girl with blond hair, but we don’t know -who- she is. While this is something that needs to be detailed all through the story, we still need something more than a faceless blank slate.

Next we have the incredibly fast motioned day. You built us up with this supposed date she was having with a guy she really liked in a whole paragraph, but used a couple of sentences to describe the entire evening. We know nothing about this Mark guy, he’s only had one line and yet he seems to be equally a main character as Stephanie herself, as does mom.

Third, brand names are usually a bad idea. Sometimes, when it’s something generic like “Xbox,” brand names work fine. Paracetamol on the other hand, not so much (I don’t even know what that is). It’s best to find some other way to describe that. You can still use the brand name if you really feel like it, but at least post a description of what it is. We can’t guess this, especially when the “pains in her stomach” are described so Vague. We don’t know if it’s heartburn, indigestion, Acid reflux, who knows. Something like “She took X medication thinking it may just be heartburn” or something like that helps a lot more than you think. With that, you can get away with the brand name and we know exactly what kind of medication it is.

Fourth-

‘OK, keep your pants on!’

This I can see happening but considering we’re already aware that Stephanie has no problem backtalking her mother, I would think some form of embarrassment or protest would be made after this statement from her.

Fifth-

And I don’t think any less of you - in fact, I think more of you for being brave and telling me.

This is a really bad line from her mother. IMO, it makes us think that she has a prepared speech for any sudden accident or occurence. It’s one thing for a mother to console her daughter for accidentally wetting the bed, things like “it’s okay” and “we’ll sort this out at the doctors” or something is just fine, but the I don’t think less of you, I think more of you, is unrealistic dialog.

Finally, and this is really the key point I want to make above all others. Everything you’ve written leads up to the wetting to where the bedwetting is the only real relevant part. This is a -very bad- way to write an AB story, it’s what turns a cliche plotline into an awful story and it can easily be avoided. I get that it can be traumatizing to a teenager to wet the bed and then wet herself when awake, however, don’t make that the only thing about the story.

We have Mark. We know she’s had bad luck with boys, so what’s so special about Mark? We have her being intelligent and having personality. Intelligence is one thing but “having personality” is a trait all humans share, and vary from human to human. Tell us about her, her family, her love interests, hell even tell us about the Xbox games she’s playing. We have so many things going on all at once but the only thing with any real apparent interest is the bedwetting and that’s going to destroy this story if it continues like this.

This is just my advice, I apologize if I worded anything offensive, I’m a blunt person and waste no time with formalities. This is only advice from one perspective, you don’t have to agree with it.

Re: I’m not a Baby, ch1

I think it’s pretty good for a first effort. Keep going!

By the way

Do NOT use apostrophe’s for quotations. That’s just plain laziness of not wanting to press the shift key. Use quotation marks.

Apostrophes are also single quotation marks. It is ok, as far as I know, to use single quotation marks around direct speech. Maybe it depends on which grammar book you read!

Re: I’m not a Baby, ch1

Paracetamol is a very popular analgesic, used world-wide under this name. However, in the Americas it is known as acetaminophen, one trade name, in the Americas is, Tylenol.

Re: I’m not a Baby, ch1

The only book I recall ever reading that used single quotations marks for dialogue was Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. I assumed this punctuation style was the norm in the 19th century.

Re: I’m not a Baby, ch1

You could be right. Someone once told me the rule I use and I just accepted it.

There’ve been books written with no punctation at all.

I think it’s Turabian, by the way.

Re: I’m not a Baby, ch1

Single quotes are usually found in British literature

Re: I’m not a Baby, ch1

I liked what you wrote for the start, however, please add some more details about the characters, situations, and show rather tell what their reactions are in any given situation. I have minimal problems with the story as a whole, if you keep at it, it should be a better story, and a willingness to listen to help is a good start.

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Re: I’m not a Baby, ch1

I agree completely with Purged_User and Jaclyn.

Also you should tease us, you dont need to deliver everything in the first chapter. The more you build something up, the more your readers are going to want it. So you could have had Stephanie wake up just before she wet the bed, make it to the bathroom but be weirded out that she almost had an accident in bed. then dont mention it again, build up your characters and what not. Then in another chapter she could almost have an accident again, but makes it to the toilet. kepp doing that until she eventually has an accident. Like have her slowly lose blader control instead of instantaniously.

Anyway i hope my advice made sense

Re: I’m not a Baby, ch1

Regarding the quoting question: In British English, the first level of quotes are done single-quote, an inner-quote is done with double quotes. In American English, we do it backwards. So:

American: “Harry,” Ron said, "Hermione asked me to give you the message: ‘You’re an idiot.’ "
British: ‘Harry,’ Ron said, 'Hermione asked me to pass you a message: “You’re a twonk.” ’

As far as apostrophe (’) vs. single quote (’ and ') vs. grave (`) vs. prime (ʹ or ′): In typewriter days, they were all the same (grave might have been different), but in typography/printing, they’re each different, and thus they each have unique Unicode code assignments. Still, most people just go with the easy-to-type stuff on the keyboard. Some word processors will try to fix these (“smart quotes”) with varying degrees of success; smart-quoting the double-quotes is easier than with single quotes because it’s sometimes hard to tell algorithmically whether an apostrophe is meant as a close-quote or contraction. For example: ‘Hey there, lil’ lady, how 'bout we hit ‘dat there chow line an’ fill ‘er up.’ From context we humans know which are apostrophes and which are quotes, but smart quote software has no idea.

Re: I’m not a Baby, ch1

Thanks, Peri. That resolves something I’ve wondered about for years.

The OP of the apostrophe discussion, btw, used a ‘grocer’s apostrophe’ in the plural of the word ‘apostrophe’. The plural of apostrophe is apostrophes with no apostrophe at the end.

My head hurts! :-\

Re: I’m not a Baby, ch1

…and now, you are entering the Twilight Zone… :o