29 Comments

I feel bamboozled! I thought it was a real diary up until near the end when it worked out too well. Well done. Strong voice!

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So cool! Seems like the best way to get people to read fiction is a sneak attack. 🥷

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Mar 3Liked by Ben Wakeman

Same, I had this insane anxiety about what if the woman whose diary it was just happened to subscribe to Ben!

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founding

Phew! Glad I wasn’t the only one!

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Great story, Ben. And I like the ideas for using ChatGPT as well as the structure in general.

PS Hope your work week went well!

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author

Thanks Kate! It’s an adjustment having to strap my brain to other work all day but at least there’s a creative component to it.

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Mar 2Liked by Ben Wakeman

Yes I think it was very effective, and you're right, rather sad - I think that drop of bittersweet in the early entry about the argument set a discordant tone that echoed at the end. Well done, Ben.

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Thank you, friend. I appreciate that. 🙏

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Good grief I thought this was real, right to the last!

Brilliantly done Ben, you’ve smashed it in the use of the second person - so damn hard to get perfect!

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Thanks so much Susie!

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This story has been told before, in various ways. But this is so genuine and so unique. I wasn't an outside observer; you made me experience the rise and fall of this relationship.

"What follows are the ten entries from a journal that was found in the battered case of a used Gibson J-45 acoustic guitar with a broken neck at a pawn shop in Santa Monica." perfectly sets up the story. It tells us the ending and makes us eager to find out what happened. Most of all, we care about the writer. Without that, it's just academic. Perhaps we've all lived this story in some way or another, to some degree or another.

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author

Thank you so much, Chip. I appreciate you and I’m glad you enjoyed this story.

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Mar 1Liked by Ben Wakeman

"Nine entries" and the movement across time really work here, Ben, love it. The character is revealing, revealing before they know it.

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author

Thanks Kenneth, I'm glad you enjoyed it.

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Mar 13Liked by Ben Wakeman

The story definitely drew me in. Initially, I wondered if it was somewhat autobiographical from your own experiences. Then, I wondered whether it was about a close friend who “made it” to the top. Then, I thought perhaps you really DID find a journal in a guitar case! Great writing!!

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Thanks so much, Sheri! I’m glad you enjoyed the story.

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Mar 3Liked by Ben Wakeman

Hey Ben, sorry this has taken me a couple of days to get to. I always feel kinda bad when that's the case, but the weekend blurred away my time. Anyway...

Fantastic voice, totally had me at first as I thought it was something you genuinely found. It works really well and you're right, second person is perfectly placed for this kind of thing. The time-skips and fleeting moments of peering into this couple's life from a single viewpoint is excellent. (Kudos to the chatgtp usage, too. Very clever!)

"It’s been a long time since I wrote anything here." Relate, haha. I've made attempts at diaries a few times, with these very words, but nothing stuck until I committed properly last year and it's been a (mostly) every day thing since.

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No worries at all Nathan. There’s simply too much to get to every week. Life gets on the way. Thanks for reading this little experiment.

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Mar 1Liked by Ben Wakeman

Agree with others here, the pull inside is strong. This POV and construct work so effortlessly together. Well done! Love writing in second person. Though, be careful, once you start, it's hard to stop.

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Heh, yeah I can see how it might be a tractor beam. Thanks for reading, Jon.

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Hey Ben! I thought the journal entries were gripping—pulled my attention and the managed to retain it perfectly.

The use of the second person was quite reaching, alluding to a frequency bias I’m encountering lately since I wrote a story entirely in the second person. I’ve had a reader tell me that its use in my story felt forced but I feel you executed it perfectly and I have much to learn from this story of yours.

I’ll be thinking about this story and the lingering sadness throughout the piece for a long time!

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Thank you so much for the kind words Ragha. The fact that my little story moved you means a lot to me. 🙏

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Mar 1Liked by Ben Wakeman

I have so much to do this morning, but your setup pulled me in. I was like Julie at first, thinking it was real, but peeked ahead to the bottom of your email to realize it was your creation. I started reading and by the second entry couldn't stop. There are so many layers - I want to go back to pay more attention to the dates now. Loved it.

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Aw, thanks so much old friend. What a treat to see you pop up in the comments.

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Pulled me right in. Loved the side note about how you used AI.

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Thanks Joyce!

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founding

Telling on myself here, but at first, I thought this was nonfiction? (I can be so literal sometimes.) There’s a lot of strong subtext here: of her sadness and feeling on the outside of his meteor rise and nostalgia for the old days. Because it is so one-sided, it feels like the germ of a larger idea. Thanks for sharing this. It’s fun to have a peek inside your creative process.

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Thanks, Julie. This was a weird little thing I had debated about posting. I'm always experimenting, it's just now I'm doing it in the open.

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