I was trying to find a way to describe the “uniform” t-shirts they wear in big box stores
In that case, you could go for “his bright yellow Best Buy shirt” (just making this up as I don’t know what color the shirts are in Best Buy or whether you even have those stores in Canada?). Readers will immediately be able to visualize the shop assistant.
I’m glad you posted this story, as this is what often happens. We love our stories so much, that we lose track of which details are important for the reader.
In this case, you want to explain how difficult it is to find something if it’s not organized. So the real metaphor starts with “When I walked into my apartment with this mission on my brain, I realized my massive “collection” of discs wasn’t a collection at all”. Everything before is just setting the scene, and the trick with setting the scene is to keep it as short as possible so we don’t lose our reader’s attention. Your scene has to express the excitement of going home to find these three precious CDs.
Here’s an alternative:
I was whistling on my way home.
I had been on a first date. With a great guy.
The best thing?
He loves music. And I had promised to lend my three favorite CDs to him for our date next week. Yay! I’d impress him with The Killers’ Hot Fuss and Hawksley Workman’s Lover/Fighter.
As soon as I got home, I ran upstairs. Ready to pop Pearl Jam’s Lost Dogs into the CD player. Just to hear it again.
But where is it? I looked through the empty covers on my book shelves. I turned boxes with CDs upside down. I rang a friend to ask whether I’d lent to her.
This is when I realized my massive “collection” of discs wasn’t a collection at all.
This is probably not exactly what you want. But notice one big difference – this short story describes very little about the scene, and is far more action-oriented.
Especially with personal stories, this is difficult to do, because we struggle to know what’s essential – we want to tell all.
Once you’ve written a draft, try to leave it for a few days. Then have another look, and decide what’s your message – what are you trying to tell your reader? And what’s then relevant? This will help you cut irrelevant details.
You have to be extra disciplined with personal stories. Try to create some distance by leaving it for a few days rather than just one night. Then think about your ideal reader, and what you really need to tell her.
You know you can do it, because you wrote a great mini-story before this.
You should pat yourself on the back for finishing the whole course! Well done. It’s been a delight to work with you.
Enchant readers. Woo customers. Win business.