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Jack Burton
July 23rd, 2002, 06:00 PM
Hello folks. My very short story is up and a big thanks to the sffworld folks who took the time to get it up and 'running.' It is under the name of Brian Kay..here is a link below if anyone would like to check it out. I would like it if those who post here would take a few seconds to check it out..it is a very short read and my first attempt at a short story other than fan-fiction. Thanks again. :)


July 23rd, 2002, 06:52 PM
Hmmm...kind of creepy! This is a good story. I liked how you varied the pacing by following a long paragraph with a one-sentence one. And you did a good job of giving the story a serious, dramatic tone.

I would say though that the first paragraph is maybe a bit too long and heavy--too much information to absorb at the very start. Mabye you could split it in half.

The story concept is a very interesting one. But it would be even better, I think, if you added a bit more to the story. Did this guy really deserve eternal torment just for living the fast life? Perhaps you could add a few more details about his sordid existence, about the choices he made. You could add a bit more to the ending too, explain his torment in more detail.

But all in all a very intriguing story. Keep on writing for sure.


July 23rd, 2002, 09:38 PM
JB, when I read and processed your tale for the site, I couldn't help but be both surprised and impressed with this very worthwhile introduction to your writing work. It was dark and broody, and in my opinion, a very descriptive telling of one man's journey into eternal perdition.

My only other thoughts of this deliciously-short piece were that perhaps the first paragraph is a little to info-dumpish for a shortish tale, and perhaps the jump from there into the main body of the story could have been a little more smooth and transitional. But, as you can tell, I quite enjoyed it, especially some of the images you were able to conjure.

"I was as humorless and dreary as my surroundings."

For some reason, this sentence really jumped out at me.

I'd really like to see more of your work! :)

Jack Burton
July 24th, 2002, 12:46 AM
Thank you, Miriamele and Erebus for taking the time to comment on my short story. Your constructive critiques are most welcomed and certainly appreciated. I wanted the story to be brief, but also to have a forceful, emotional impact and I may have sacraficed a more 'fleshed' out narrative for 'brutal brevity!' I agree, the begining may have been a bit much and I have a tendency to do that in my other writings, but I'm learning as I go and hope to overcome my lack of self-confidence in my writing skill and pursue my goal of being a 'published' writer! I am most humbled that a professional author, such as yourself, Erebus, found my work enjoyable. I have some other projects in the works, so I hope to share them soon!

July 24th, 2002, 01:12 PM
Jack (or Brian),

Very well done. This read more like a poem than a short story. I really liked the line about sins coming to visit in the night.

The only suggestion I would have would be to consider moving from general to specific. A lot of the lines in the story were very general - the narrator indulged himself, lay with many women - that sort of thing. Get more specific. A phrase I often hear is "good writers don't tell, they show." As a reader I want to immerse myself in this world and this is done by experiencing very specific events. Rather than tell us about sleeping around, tells us a story about one of his women - how the narrator used her and tore up her world simply to satisfy his lust - what specifically he did. This kind of thing allows the reader to reach his or her own conclusion about the character as opposed to being told what that conclusion should be.

Keep writing!

Gary Wassner
July 24th, 2002, 01:49 PM
I just read it myself, and I too enjoyed it! You create the mood very well and you deliver on it in the end. It is full of imagery and replete with all the elements of a good horror tale, while at the same time there is an ethical lesson. Have you read E. A. Poe? He was the master of this type of story. In fact, your use of color reminds me a lot of him, as does your ability to evoke in a very short piece the irony and desperation that accompany or result from an immoral human state.

Jack Burton
July 24th, 2002, 04:28 PM
Choppy: I agree with you..I wanted it to be short, so I didn't want to make the story drawn-out, but perhaps I could have added a bit more to the story regarding the narrator's sordid life...And to Gemquest..YES, I do enjoy Poe..he has inspired me to write things dark...thank you both for the input.

July 26th, 2002, 08:47 AM
I've just read it and I really liked it, it had a very intense feel probably due to its brevity bu there was enough there to draw me in.

I want to know more about the character, what did he do to deserve his fate? What exactly was his fate? but in an odd way I don't want you to expand on it because I feel it would loose it's punchiness.

I kind of agree that the first paragraph is perhaps a little long but I have no suggestions as to how to shorten it so leave it as it is, it works.

I would love to read something longer by you.


Jack Burton
July 26th, 2002, 04:51 PM
Many thanks..I think it works well being a shorty short of a story..the begining is a tad too much..!:) Thank you for taking the time to read it!

July 27th, 2002, 07:28 AM
Nice little sroey. The staccato style really gave a feeling of real fervency, which really set the mood.

In the fifth paragraph you used the word 'awoke' which was against the flow of the story as we were in the present, or I assume we were. I don't know, I generally miss things and am considered to be a bit of a dullard but just letting you know this.

The last thing I would do is switch the last two sentences around so you end it with the 'man of constant sorrow thing.'

Would make a great prelude to a book.