View Full Version : I tried myself as Sheherazade...critique, please?

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January 30th, 2006, 06:40 AM

This is really very embarassing.
It started off as a "mythical autobiography"-excercise.
This is my first draft.

I was playing with the style of the Arabian nights. The difficulty being, I have never read the 1001 Nights in English before and I know nothing of the time and place this is set in...so most of this is just guessing at vocabulary and style.

I feel like one of those irreverent Victorians who mangled things until it fit their own idea of foreign culture!

Anyway, my main questions:

1) Any glaring mistakes, anachronisms, etc?
2) I know I've mixed writing styles and also symbols of different cultures. It's not supposed to be "pure" Arabian Nights-style. But does the mix work?
3) Are the structure and length okay?
4) Anything else you can offer is very welcome...

Thank you very much!

January 30th, 2006, 07:52 PM
As someone once said: "Good poets imitate, great poets steal."

This was a really good story.
The style was true to the Arabian Nights - and it flowed well with just enough unaswered questions through out to keep you reading. I hope to see more.

January 31st, 2006, 08:05 AM
Thank you Darkin.
I'm very glad you enjoyed it. :)

One thing I found hilariously difficult was this "quoting the prophet"-business. Which is why some of the quotes are just weird and others are complete non sequiturs.

But it was great fun.
We're sometimes so strict with ourselves, never writing more words than necessary, that leaning into a flowery, generous, patient storytelling style was very freeing.

Even though I couldn't really pull it through completely, because the it is too foreign to me.

February 2nd, 2006, 01:18 PM
Hehe, that was fun. All the staples, the story-within-a-story, the outwitting, the "wisdom"; and then the twist at the end. *grin*

Nice story.

February 3rd, 2006, 06:10 AM
Thanks :)

The twist was fun to write, too. The repartee between the Vizier and his Caliph is...hrm...part of what goes on in my head every day.
I wanted to knock him down a little, he was getting far too cocky for his own good. :)

February 3rd, 2006, 01:11 PM

I think you caught the style very well.

But I feel the whole story was a little rushed, as if you wanted to get to the twist at the end so badly, writing the biuld up was annoying you ;). Perhaps it could be lengthened, especially the sections with the banter between the Vizier and his Caliph. Perhaps describe more of what was going on, through their conversations.

February 6th, 2006, 04:16 AM
Thanks, Holbrook. I think you're right. I'll work on it.
It was less wanting to get to the twist, though (because I didn't know what it was going to be until it happened). It was probably more the fact that it was two o clock in the morning and I desperately wanted to go to bed.