A piece of fiction-really rather quite short- I'd really, REALLY, appreciate if someone could give me a bit of feedback on it.
Some helpful, constructive criticism please, be blunt about it if you have to.
Oh, and heres the link: http://www.sffworld.com/community/story/971p0.html
October 20th, 2005, 10:27 PM
I found your story to be very absorbing, and enjoyed that the happenings within it seemed so otherworldly and tinged with a haunting, bittersweet tone.
Two descriptions I especially admire:
"Whites, blues, yellows, greens, the angry reds, all streaming around her like living fluid."
"All across its length colors ran, a whole pastel range of orange, mauve, and burnished haze. People danced, dressed gayly, whether in the plumage of birds or the white manes of lions. Some wore great suits of leather dropping to their knees. Some wore gowns of multi-colored lace, others just scantily clad in strips of nylon. A giant claxon of piping instruments, a whole mechanical beast of synthesizers, of electric gears, twittered in excitement. Lights flashed on and off throughout the progress of directed steps and gliding movements."
I would cut nothing of the story, but add more. I enjoyed the nods to Huxley, Steinbeck, and Hemingway in your style and word-smithing. The trim prose was refreshing and almost startling.
October 21st, 2005, 02:32 PM
ok, thats good. Thats good to hear. Tell me. Do you think its publishable? Did you REALLY feel the MC at any time, was the dialogue stilited or bad in any way?
just things like that. I need to get plenty of responses so I can flesh out an image of my work in the sight of others.
October 21st, 2005, 05:04 PM
No one can guess at the inner workings of an editor's mind, and why they choose to publish what they publish. Many worthy stories go unpublished and scorned, while drivel finds a ready audience. When I walk through our local bookstore and look at what's on the shelves, I always mutter the same remarks: "No wonder artists are always slashing off their ears or hanging themselves or sitting sadly in the dark. Look at what gets published, and dream of what does not!"
The latest last straw was picking up some nasty little tome entitled something along the lines of "Beanie Babies and the Women Who Love Them," which attempted to combine Beanie Babies with both Christianity and the otherworld.
So, Pik, I do not know if your story will be published. Try to get it published. I think it needs a bit of fleshing out, but that is just my opinion. I do not get a strong enough sense of YOU, the author, from the story. I never read stories for just what the characters do, but rather to detect the particular axe the author has to grind.
October 21st, 2005, 10:30 PM
I'm sorry if I sounded too demanding. I was only curious, after all, this being a writing forum, I was perhaps too excited, if not flat-out audacious. Presumptious, more like it, that anyone would care before my story was relegated to the digital waste-bin...
I'm sorry. Thx for pointing out what you liked (especially those descriptions). I guess I just wanted you to be more specific about the story in general... Did it make sense to you? Because some people I've shown it to say it doesn't. That worries me. It makes sense to me, of course. The woman is dead in the beginning because she doesn't feel the same exhilaration she felt in her youth. She's not dead for real, until the end when she dies happily in the cold bloom of her ecstacy... Thats your own conclusion?Right?
What do I know. I'm sorry for being acerbic. I get all so fed up just some times. I like to know what people THINK about my work. Even if its complete and utter crap. Please, just a comment for anyone whos reading the whole story. A sentence. Three words. Anything, please. At no other time will I be more earnest.
October 22nd, 2005, 10:40 AM
Pik, I did not find that you sounded demanding, only enthusiastic and excited that perhaps your work would be critiqued by others. On another writing forum (not specifically sci-fi and fantasy, but with threads on those genres), the administrator noted that many times, a person hoping for critiques has to do quite a few himself/herself before anyone will return the favor.
As a former editor and a wordsmith myself, I enjoy critiquing the work of others.
As to your work, "The Cold House," I think you should be more obvious that she is only dead in spirit until the end, where, sadly, her spirit revives, only in time to die with her body. Add more juxtapositions of her age with others' youthful bloom, or middle-aged ripening, as you did when she noted the younger man who already has the taint of upcoming death (the gray hair strand), if you will. I'd like to see more about the "rides" (ahem, not that one) they go on...I'm torn between liking the fact that the only dialogue comes at the end, and disliking it and feeling it breaks the narrative tone.
I hope others will find the time to comment as well. Perhaps those who have unfavorable views of others' work hesitate to place it in a forum, and may wish to use the "private message" option. I don't know if it were mere coincidence, but when I ran a writers' group, those who were most generous with lending a helping hand were the only ones that ended up published. Whether some karmic happening or merely the fact that their helping honed their own work, I do not know.