i'd be very appreciative if anyone could have a look at my short story and tell me what you think.
When Harry Met Satan (http://www.sffworld.com/authors/d/doyle_m_john/fiction/whenharry1.html)
thanks in advance.
June 16th, 2003, 11:15 AM
A very entertaining story, Asraloth! I liked the quick, light style that made for a fast, easy read; I was only going to read the first page, but somehow kept "turning" until the end. There were a few grammatical errors and I noticed one little inconsistency (did he have a half-day off work or a full day off work?) but overall, well-done. The concept of Satan at the head of a self-help movement is quite funny! :)
June 17th, 2003, 10:27 PM
appreciate your input Ladijen. i know there's a few grammatical errors but i just wanted to get some thoughts on the story in general. thanks.
June 19th, 2003, 10:51 AM
Is this a changed version of the story from the one you asked for comments on a few months back? I gave you feedback on it then - when I was somebody else - but I'll certainly re-read it if it is changed because it seemed promising back then.
Besides, I thought you were going to try to have the old version published?
June 19th, 2003, 07:10 PM
nope, its the same version, i just want to get a few more thoughts on it.
June 23rd, 2003, 02:21 PM
I liked you story Asraloth. Like Ladijen said, it was a fun, light read. I too liked the style. In fact the only thing that prevented me from reading it before now was the title. It reminded me a bit too much of a certain romace-comedy movie. Maybe that association was intentional, but nevertheless it put me off, initially.
Otherwise the story felt very "smooth." It had a good flow right from the start. There were only one scene, where Harry feel asleep in front of the TV, where I somehow felt that the pace jumped a bit too fast, too suddenly.
Also, the next day I thought that Harry changed his mind about going to that seminar a bit quickly, considering his vehemence just the night before. Maybe you could expand on the idea with the TV interview, make him dismiss the TV just to turn on the radio and hear even more about the seminar. Then a large add. in the newspaper by the morning table, and so on and so forth... haunt him a bit until he finally caves in? Anyway, just an idea.
But Harry just isn't very good at saying no to people, is he? He gave in rather easily to that Gabe fellow too, I think. Considering the devils show of fire from last night, it's sort of strange why Harry doesn't express any kind of fear at setting himself up against such a force as the prince of darknes himself. Even if he doesn't look very imposing at first glance.
I don't really know about the ending. It left me feeling kind of.... moot. Why did the devil run around preaching to people? And why couldn't the angel (Gabe) not be bothered to help Harry in the final moments? It's not that the ending is bad, far from it. No, I just thought it lacked that certain extra bit, the final turn of phrase, the last point to drive it all home and make the entire story "click" into place. Unfortunately, I don't have any idea how to achieve something like that myself. But the best short stories all have endings like that, I think.
As it stands, I still really enjoyed the story. It had lots of funny moments and phrases (like, "At least this things catered...." :)). It was entertaining enough to keep my attention focused until the very end, like Ladijen I just had to keep "turning" the pages. The story also had an interesting premise, one that I haven't seen before. So good work!
PS: Have you ever read Holly Lisle's "Sympathy for the Devil"? I think you would like it! (It's legally online for free here: www.baen.com/library).