Finally finished my first short story here, and I deleted another that I just couldn't fix up. So now I have more room to work on others now. Please let me know what you guys think.~Angela
November 25th, 2006, 10:59 AM
Congrats on finishing your story! :D
I finally had time to read it. You have a good and interesting story there, but you haven't mined all the potential yet, I feel.
Specifically, to me it reeds more like a "revenge fantasy" than a "revenge story". The ending seems to me too smooth.
Amaya seeks revenge for months/years, and then she gets it, and then - what?
Think about it; you've devoted your life to this one goal, and the goal helps you get out of the bed in the morning. You bear missing your sister, partly because theirs this goal. And then you're successful. How do you react?
The human perspective:
1. You realise that you're not missing your sister any less, and that you're still feeling as bad as before about what happened to her. You've just killed (brutally) people for a few moments of relief (and that relief itself is frightfully close to the impulse to rape in the first place; justification being a pretty superficial layer). - Main emotion: Despair
2. You're left unsatisified, and you're frustrated that you can't kill them all over again. You worry, you've been too merciful. They died too quickly, but now they're dead, and you're frustration has no outlet... Or has it? Main emotion: Anger
But then Amaya isn't merely human...
There's nothing really wrong with your story; it's just - to me - the ending feels too smooth (Amaya's reaction, James' reaction, too little mention of Amaya's little sister...). There's some room for improvement, I feel.
Then there are the nitpicky mistakes. ("brunette eyes"?) A careful reading should catch those.
Finally, you have some great imagery, there. Killing with a slice of a wing? Brilliant!
Congratulations, again! The beginning has improved a lot, if I remember the early versions correctly.
November 27th, 2006, 05:02 PM
The ending was a bit rushed, but I see what you mean by too smooth. I'll work with some of those ideas you suggested there to leave the reader with more insight into the character's emotional state after all of the transformation she makes. I didn't make mentioning her lost sister so prevelent because I wanted the story focused on her revenge and what consequences come with it, instead of angsting over her sister. I suppose I could've added more, but I guess it wasn't quite in the forefront of my mind. Thanx for reading though.~Angela
December 1st, 2006, 11:10 PM
Rewrote the ending, likely that I'll add more in editing though. You can check it out again. Also give me some other examples of the nitpicky mistakes so I can get them all, Thanx!~Angela
December 13th, 2006, 03:52 PM
The thread is in danger of disappearing from the front page. I am working at a reply, but I'm kind of busy right now (and then there's Christmas to take care of *groans*). I've copy-pasted your story into word, so I don't have to download all the pages everytime I want to look it through (and I can search better for consistency in Word).
I'll be back with comments, as soon as I can.
A few things I've noticed about your style so far:
You use "and" a lot, to join sentences. You could look through your text, look for and's and see if there's another way to join sentences:
She was tensing up, and she was uncomfortable here.
You could make this:
She was tensing up, because she was uncomfortable here.
As she was uncomfortable here, she was tensing up.
Uncomfortable here, she was tensing up.
[Most of your and's work quite well; so I won't go into that later. I'll only mention it when I think "and" would be better replaced. I think I would have mentioned above example, but I'm not sure.] Also, please remember that style is always about preferance. You'll have to like your own writing, above all.
Another thing I've noticed is that you use "was" (and other forms of "to be") a lot. You could read through your story and see where "was" could be replaced (or reduced). Example:
It was as if she was waiting for something. What it was she never knew.
This could be:
She appeared to be waiting for something. What it was she never knew. (two "was" less)
Another thing I noticed:
You tend to have the sentence go on too long before giving an idea, so that the idea seems to belong to another part of the sentences, which can cause confusion. Example:
a lean black haired man wearing only his tight black jeans with a long braid down his back.
Here it looks like the jeans have a braid down his back (which is nonsense).
In this case, it could be remedied with punctuation:
a lean, black-haired man, wearing only his tight, black jeans, with a long braid down his back.
Or you could re-arrange the phrase:
a lean, black-haired man with a braid down his back, wearing only his tight, black jeans.
And just a bit down:
Amaya watched the man charge toward his opponent in what she figured must've been a last ditch effort to win since she hadn't seen the whole fight.
The "since she hadn't" clause refers to "figured" (or the sentence doesn't make much sense). However, many readers might first think it belongs to "must have been".
So it could be:
Amaya watched the man charge twoard his opponent in what she figured, since she hadn't seen the whole fight, must've been a last ditch effort to win.
Or you could re-write this, making two sentences out of it:
The man charged toward his opponent. To Amaya, who hadn't seen the whole fight, it looked like a last ditch effort to win.
So that's it, for now. I hope I'll have more comments later. :)