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  1. #1
    Bassim is offline Senior Member
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    Default Please, would you proofread my short story

    This is the third part of my short story "A Flat." Please, would you proofread it.

    About one year later Jelena gave birth to their first child, a girl named Vesna. Their happiness was immense and the feeling of being a parent gave a new dimension to their lives. The small flat would suddenly resound with screams of the healthy baby who would wake them up in the middle of the night or before dawn, reminding them that the real life had just been started.

    What counted was not the past, but the future of this little creature who was completely dependent on them and demanded their attention all the time. It was then that Ivan began dreaming about having his own house or a large flat where there would be enough space for everyone in his family.

    How nice it would be to have a proper bathroom with warm water running from a tap, instead of this small plastic bath and pots with water, which they had to heat on the wooden stove. How nice it would be for everyone to have their own room and not crowd, or a large living room where the friends could sit and relax and not squeezing each other, or a spare room which could be used by his or Jelena’s family on the visit.
    Soon Jelena became pregnant again. They discussed whether she would have an abortion and after weighing the pros and cons they decided that little Vesna needed company. Ivan hoped that this time it would be a boy, but a few months later, it was another girl screaming in the small attic.

    Now they needed a bigger flat, but the problem was where to find it. There was a constant shortage of housing due to the arrival of workers from the villages who were poor and did not have enough money to start building their own homes, nor did they have relatives who could help them with accommodation. At that time council flats had been allocated to the factories and state companies, which had their own waiting lists and which could be very long, while number of vacant flats small.

    Not to mention that the system was corrupt and people who knew the “right” official and could afford to pay bribes saw their names ascending like a rocket on the waiting list.
    Ivan tried for weeks to find another, larger flat, but that task proved to be more difficult than he had anticipated. Now that Jelena did not work, his wage had to cover all the costs for food, clothes, bills and rent. Searching for the flat, he had to move to the outskirts of the town, where at least he had a chance to find something suitable. Finally the only flat which he could afford was a building which looked like to be a former cowshed which its owner had years before converted into a three-room flat.

    The kitchen was large, but other three rooms small and the wallpapers old and in some places peeling. At least the flat had its own toilet and bathroom, although the bottom of the bath was covered with the patches of red, brown and grey and looked as if it had been more than thirty years old.

    The owner of the house was an old couple, whose children had moved away to other cities and towns and they needed a lodger and the money to support their small pensions. In the past, they had a piece of land and animals, but as they became old and weak, they sold both the land and the animals, keeping only a dog and a few hens who walked freely, pecking and cackling in the garden.
    It was the beginning of the spring when they moved into the flat and the whole street was lined with flowers and fruit trees in bloom and buzzing with bees. The majority of the houses were old and shabby, but their inhabitants had a big heart, helping each other as much as they could, sharing the good and the bad.
    As soon as Ivan and his family moved in, their neighbours came up, telling them that if they ever needed any kind of help they could always count on them. They were simple workers and farmers and they always supported each other just as their parents and grandparents did.
    Ivan’s family made their home pleasant. They replaced the torn wallpapers, filled the holes in the roof and scrubbed the bath until the dirt completely disappeared. They bought some new furniture and new carpets which brought some style inside the old walls. Jelena planted geraniums and other plants in flower pots and placed them on the windowsills. Not only were they beautiful but they also captured the eyes of the passersby instead of the ugly cracks in the facade.

    TO BE CONTINUED

  2. #2
    johng is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Please, would you proofread my short story

    Quote Originally Posted by Bassim View Post
    This is the third part of my short story "A Flat." Please, would you proofread it.

    About one year later Jelena gave birth to their first child, a girl named Vesna. Their happiness was immense, and the feeling of being a parent gave a new dimension to their lives. The small flat would suddenly resound with screams of the healthy baby who would wake them up in the middle of the night or before dawn, reminding them that the real life had just been started.

    What counted was not the past, but the future of this little creature who was completely dependent on them and demanded their attention all the time. It was then that Ivan began dreaming about having his own house or a large flat where there would be enough space for everyone in his family.

    How nice it would be to have a proper bathroom with warm water running from a tap, instead of this small plastic bath and pots with water, which they had to heat on the wooden stove. How nice it would be for everyone to have their own room and not crowd,<-- I am not sure what you mean here. Do you mean not feel crowded?] or a large living room where the friends could sit and relax and not squeezing [Do you mean, not squeeze against each other?] each other, or a spare room which could be used by his or Jelena’s family on the visit.
    Soon Jelena became pregnant again. They discussed whether she would have an abortion and after weighing the pros and cons they decided that little Vesna needed company. Ivan hoped that this time it would be a boy, but a few months later, it was another girl screaming in the small attic.

    Now they needed a bigger flat, but the problem was where to find it <-- I would use "one" here to indicate less specificity]. There was a constant shortage of housing due to the arrival of workers from the villages who were poor and did not have enough money to start building their own homes, nor did they have relatives who could help them with accommodations. At that time council flats had been were allocated to the factories and state companies, which had their own waiting lists and which could be very long, while the number of vacant flats was small.

    Not to mention that the system was corrupt, and people who knew the “right” official and could afford to pay bribes saw their names ascending like a rocket on the waiting list.
    Ivan tried for weeks to find another, larger flat, but that task proved to be more difficult than he had anticipated. Now that Jelena did not work, his wages had to cover all the costs for food, clothes, bills and rent. Searching for the flat, he had to move expand his search to the outskirts of the town, where at least he had a chance to find of finding something suitable. Finally, the only flat which he could afford was a building which looked like to be a former cowshed which its owner had years before converted into a three-room flat.

    The kitchen was large, but the other three rooms were small and the wallpapers old and in some places peeling. At least the flat had its own toilet and bathroom, although the bottom of the bath was covered with the patches of red, brown and grey and looked as if it had been was more than thirty years old.

    The owner of the house was an old couple, whose children had moved away to other cities and towns, and they needed a lodger and the money to support their small pensions. In the past, they had a piece of land and animals, but as they became old and weak, they sold both the land and the animals, keeping only a dog and a few hens who walked around or about <-- choose one] freely, pecking and cackling in the garden.
    It was the beginning of the spring when they moved into the flat. and [I would start a new sentence here--> The whole street was lined with flowers and fruit trees in bloom and buzzing with bees. The majority of the houses were old and shabby, but their inhabitants had a big hearts, helping each other as much as they could, sharing the good and the bad.
    As soon as Ivan and his family moved in, their neighbours came up, telling them that if they ever needed any kind of help they could always count on them. They were simple workers and farmers and they always supported each other just as their parents and grandparents did.
    Ivan’s family made their home pleasant. They replaced the torn wallpapers, filled the holes in the roof and scrubbed the bath until the dirt completely disappeared. They bought some new furniture and new carpets which brought some style inside the old walls. Jelena planted geraniums and other plants in flower pots and placed them on the windowsills. Not only were they beautiful but they also captured the eyes of the passersby instead of the ugly cracks in on the facade.

    TO BE CONTINUED
    You use details well. This sections seems like it is building towards a conflict.

  3. #3
    Bassim is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Please, would you proofread my short story

    Dear johng,
    In the two previous sentences which seem unclear, your guess is right.
    I meant to say, "Not feel crowded" and "not squeeze against each other."

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