Revision of Kirksman87's "A Hundred Dollars"

My comments in bold. Kirksman87's in regular text.



Life was never an easy one for me. Life consists of, hard work, hot and humid working conditions and the nasty smell of smelting iron and the loud “thank!” that goes off each time a worker hits the white hot rod. The crack of the whip held by those slave drivers were music to anyone in the factory’s ears. There was practically nothing to look forward to in life except the strong smell of onions and stew served by the Church every Sunday evening.

Life was never easy for me. Life consisted of hard work, hot and humid working conditions, the stench of smelting iron, and the loud “thank!” that went off each time a worker hit the white hot rod. The crack of the whip held by those slave drivers was pain to our ears. There was nothing to look forward to except the pungent smell of onions and stew served by the Church every Sunday evening.

Justification: Grammatical errors and tense agreements fixed. “nasty” in “nasty smell” is a weak adjective, replacing it with “stench” also eliminates needless words. The crack of the whip being “music” to “anyone in the factory’s ears” carries mismatched connotations because the previous sentences have established life in the factory as being an ordeal; “pain” isn’t exactly a melodious replacement, but it fits the context. “practically” is a needless adverb; deleted. Ditto “in life.”

Deprived of education and parental love since birth never helped my journey to success. Every day I would stare at schools like an old man waiting for his dead son to return from war. I envy them. The children who were fortunate enough to have education in a school, neat uniforms and most importantly, parents.

Being deprived of education and parental love since birth never helped my journey to success. Every day I would stare at schools like a child gazing through a candy-store window. I envy them, the children who were fortunate enough to have had a school education, neat uniforms, and most importantly, parents.

Justification: The original simile didn’t make sense. The imagery of an old man awaiting a son’s return clashed disastrously with the original situation of a young man longingly staring at a school. The replacement isn’t exactly poetry either, but is at least functional.

But, never mind for if God has decided to put my fate as such, I shall accept it and make the best out of it. What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger I believe and I promised to use whatever skill or opportunity I have to make my life and the life of my people, a better one. Albeit seemingly impossible, I never gave up and thought of ways to achieve that.

But no matter, for if God has decided to write my fate as such, I shall accept it and make the best of it. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, I believe, and I promised to use whatever skills or opportunities I have to make my life and the lives of my people better. Although it seemed impossible I never gave up, thinking of ways to achieve it.

Justification: “Never mind” is replaced with “no matter” in the first sentence to match the rest of the sentence’s rather arch phrasing. Several phrasings corrected to help the passage flow better.

I started stealing the leftover iron which would be later used to make steel. I would sell them to train companies and rival companies and they would happily buy them without much question. The low price always helps. I started accumulating the money I received from selling the leftovers. Even my minuscule monthly pay of 10$ a month was kept safely under my pillow. I would also buy street drugs and sell them to my fellow workers who used them to escape from the pains of the real world. Cannabis was always a crowd favorite for how easy it is to conceal and quick and strong effects.

I started stealing the leftover iron which would have been used to make steel; I sold it to train companies and they bought it without question. The low price always helped. I kept the money from the sales under my pillow along with my miniscule monthly pay of $10. Sometimes I bought street drugs and resold them to my fellow workers. Cannabis was always a favorite for its quick, strong effects and ease of concealment.

Justification: Shorter sentences combined, needless words cut out, nearly halving the paragraph and giving it a tighter impact.

I never got caught, but after sometime I decided it was time to stop. One night, I took my items and most importantly, money and ran away from that terrible place I called home for 21 years. I started working as a dishwasher and eventually worked my way up to being a Chief Chef. I was only 25 then and with the money I accumulated, I started with opening a tiny stall where I’d sell food after work. It was extremely tiring for I’d wake up at 5.30AM to prepare for my day job and yet sleep at 12AM after finishing off my night job.

I never got caught, but after some time I decided to stop. One night, I took my money and possessions and ran away from that terrible place I called home for twenty-one years. I worked as a dishwasher and worked my way up to Head Chef. I was only twenty-five then, and with the money I saved, I opened a tiny stall where I sold food after work. It was extremely tiring; I’d wake up at 5:30 A.M. and not sleep until midnight.

Justification: Mostly just removing needless words and redundancies.

One day I decided, this wasn’t the way to do it. I quit my stable paying job and ventured into the food market. I was approached by a nice gentleman who claimed he was the owner of a very successful string of businesses. He suggested I join him in a joint venture and I trusted him. I invested all my money. All 30,000$ praying to succeed in this venture.

One day I decided this wasn’t the way to do it. I quit my jobs and ventured into the food market. I was approached by a nice gentleman who claimed he was the owner of a very successful string of businesses. He suggested I join him in a joint venture, and I trusted him. I invested all my money. All $30,000, praying to succeed.

Justification: Very few changes really, just a few needless words and repetitions trimmed.
We did very well and I quickly covered my original investments with the help of his restaurant’s good name and my equally good cooking. Soon, I was invited by to cook in top cooking competitions around the world, and made my name in a competition called “Gohan”. I was quickly recognized as one of the world’s top chefs. I sold off my shares in the shop and opened another shop called “Posh Delights” serving strictly French food. By now, I even had cookbooks. I’d show them how to cook a certain dish, get it documented and get paid just like that.

We did very well, and I quickly covered my original investments with the help of his restaurant’s good name and my equally good cooking. Soon, I was invited to top cooking competitions around the world, and was quickly recognized as one of the world’s top chefs. I sold off my shares in the shop and opened my own French restaurant, calling it “Posh Delights.” By now, I even had cookbooks. I’d show them how to cook a certain dish, get it documented, and get paid just like that.

Justification: Fairly self-explanatory; no major changes.

Success really got into my head and I forgot about my original intention of contributing to the society. Not a single cent was donated to anybody and I started being extremely arrogant. I’d even pay huge amounts just to get some photos of myself shot nicely, and also makeup done.

Success went to my head, and I forgot about my original intention of contributing to society. Not a single cent was donated to anyone, and I became extremely arrogant. I even paid dearly for nicely-shot photographs of myself.

One fine day, I was walking at the back streets, something that I don’t do often. I saw a trail of money in the huge drain amounting to approximately a hundred dollars. Not wanting to get my clothes dirty, I just ignored it. After all, for each 30 minute show I’d earn over 5000 dollars, what’s 100 dollars to me?

One day, while walking the backstreets, I saw a trail of money in a drain. It amounted to approximately a hundred dollars. Not wanting to dirty my clothes, I ignored it. After all, for each thirty-minute show I earned over five thousand dollars; what was a hundred to me?

Suddenly, I heard screaming voices of a child at the back. I turned, and saw a child in the drain. She had just tried to use a stick to collect the money, and somehow dropped into the drain.

Suddenly, I heard a screaming voice at the back. I turned, and saw a child in the drain. She had fallen in trying to use a stick to collect the money.

I panicked! Yet I still refused to get my clothes dirty, so I used a stick instead asking the girl to cling onto the stick. She was too confused and frightened to hear what I was saying and kept struggling. Eventually, the struggling stopped and the child stopped moving. I was so frightened and angry that I just jumped inside and pulled the child out. She laid motionless with her eyes wide open. At that very moment, I thought of my life in the past. Everything that I said I would do, but never did.

I panicked. But I still refused to dirty my clothes. I used a stick instead, asking the girl to cling to the end. She kept struggling, too confused and frightened to hear what I was saying. Eventually she stopped moving. I was so frightened and angry that I jumped inside and pulled her out. She lay motionless, her eyes opened wide. At that moment, I thought of my past. Everything that I said I would do, but never did.

I felt like an animal. An inhuman bastard. I cried and stared at the pile of money that “caused” the death of that beautiful girl. Then I thought again, the pile of money didn’t do anything. It was I who caused the death. Because of my vanity, that child was dead. I had achieved everything I wanted in life, but I never contributed to my people as I had said I would.

I felt like an animal. An inhuman bastard. Staring at the pile of money that caused the death of that beautiful girl, I cried. Then I thought again – the pile of money didn’t do anything. It was I who caused the death. The child was dead because of my vanity. I had achieved everything I wanted in life, but I never contributed to society as I had said I would.

After that day, I donated half of my wealth to Human Welfare organizations. I pushed for the equality among races and strived to spread awareness of the importance of education to the public. Not everybody appreciated my efforts, and I was even shot in the knees. The damage, so severe that till today I cannot walk. I will never stand again, I cannot cook as I did and I am not as rich as I was. My life has changed so much, but I am very satisfied and happy albeit not being as rich as I was. I found out that money, is just one of the little things in life. The most important thing, is to help others. Life’s too short to be selfish.

After that day, I donated half my wealth to human welfare organizations, pushed for equality among the races, and strove to spread awareness of the importance of education. Not everyone appreciated my efforts, and my life has changed much; but I am satisfied and happy, despite not being as rich as I was. I found out that money is just one of the little things in life. The most important thing is to help others. Life’s too short to be selfish.

Justification: The knee injury was removed due to coming completely out of nowhere without explanation and contributing nothing.

Till today, I cannot get over the fact I let a beautiful child die. I still visit her grave every year to pay my respect. My life has changed, thanks to that 1000 dollars and dead child. I don’t know if it’s a blessing in disguise, but it really did change my life and hopefully the lives of many others..
But I cannot get over the fact that I let a beautiful child die. I still visit her grave every year. My life has changed, thanks to that dead child. I don’t know if it was a blessing in disguise, but it changed my life and – hopefully – the lives of many others.

Justification: A thousand dollars corrected to one hundred, as mentioned previously, then removed completely for detracting from the impact of the dead girl. (title be damned).

Verdict: This is a competently written, Horatio Alger-ish story with a predictable moral. No other real comments. The re-written version has a better flow and less discrepancies than the original Kirksman87 could probably continue in this vaguely didactic vein without any trouble, but next time, try for some complexity and a less obvious “life lessons” approach.

-Justin