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nicba
June 22nd, 2003, 07:26 AM
Iím in the process of trying to create a very short story, under 500 words. But Iím not sure if my attempt really deserves the label "story" at all. Itís written in the form of a letter, giving a glimpse of the life of a young man. The genre is Science Fiction. I could use your criticism to help me finish it.

As of now, I have three version of the piece. The first version (http://home1.stofanet.dk/nicba/letter_version_1.html) is a rough draft. You can skip that, if you like. The second version (http://home1.stofanet.dk/nicba/letter_version_2.html) is a bit longer than the first, a bit more polished and maybe a bit "sentimental". Or that was what was intended, anyway. Finally, the third version (http://home1.stofanet.dk/nicba/letter_version_3.html) is shorter than the second, a bit more sparse in its wording. Iíve tried for a more "lose" feel, more direct and more "informal". More like one could have spoken to a friend, or even a stranger than to ones parents.

As I said, Iím not sure if I succeeded with either of the two versions, and if thereís even enough "meat" on it to call it a story at all. Also, I canít decide which of the two versions I should go with.

Should I expand the second version and work on the wording to make it even more personal and intimate, thereby hopefully adding to the "impact" of the story. Any suggestions for doing that?

Or should I instead keep to the more detached tone of the third version? Maybe expand on something? Or cut even more?

In short, I would be grateful for any comments, suggestions, gramar corrections ect. you could give me regarding the story and how to go about improving it.

/Nicolai

Darknel
June 24th, 2003, 04:47 AM
Nicba,
This doesn't really seem to be a story, so much as a prelude to one. A letter of this nature, is essentially very personal to the writer and therefore is difficult to correct (even apparent errors can be readily ascribed to the ill-educated nature of the character supposedly writing it).
Assuming that there is a story to follow, then the only advice I would give is that you should try to put as much of the full characters style into the letter itself.
Sounds like an interesting prospect though, I hope you'll posting a fuller text later.

nicba
June 24th, 2003, 05:03 PM
Thank you for your comments, Darknel.

When I wrote the piece, I did in fact think about using it as a kind of prologue for a longer story. But the sad fact is that, almost certainly, I will not be writing it. I just don't seem to be able to find the time and the patience to stick with a larger project and finish it...

If this one can't stand on it's own, well that's just a shame. It will go into the pile of "old stuff" where it will lie dormant until one magic day when I might need it. And until then I'll turn my attention to another short story... although perhaps a little longer next time :).

But thanks again for taking your time to read and comment, Darknel.

/Nicolai

I, Brian
June 25th, 2003, 06:32 AM
I just don't seem to be able to find the time and the patience to stick with a larger project and finish it...


A little at a time for a long time goes a long way. :)

Ickle Lulu
June 25th, 2003, 07:11 AM
hey! this sounds really cool and original. never come across anything else which might fit in the same category. it's like you've drawn the lines, as it were, of a totally new form of short story. this would work well (in my opinion) if it were put in a collection of letters from the same character and the letters in reply to his own. you could go back into his past and dig out some of the more minor people who he came across and add their contributions to it.
you should definitely stick with this - it has amazing potential!!!

Asraloth
June 25th, 2003, 08:33 AM
nicba, don't feel alone. i've seen a few stories done in letter form to great effect. i've never read a short story, but a few novels i've read have been in this style; for example, The Color Purple is one i can think of off the top of my head.
i personally prefer the first version, it holds a more personal, in-depth tone to it somehow.

Ouroboros
June 25th, 2003, 08:55 AM
I think it's actually quite a charming little letter. I've seen far worse opening scene-setting for a space opera or something.

nicba
June 25th, 2003, 04:43 PM
Thanks for your comments and kind words, fellows!



hey! this sounds really cool and original. never come across anything else which might fit in the same category. it's like you've drawn the lines, as it were, of a totally new form of short story.


Nha, don't think I'm that original, unfortunately. If I should pin it to a category, I think it belong to the one called flash-fiction. Kind of like juzzza's story "700 Words," except juzzza's is the better one. And more original too :).



this would work well (in my opinion) if it were put in a collection of letters from the same character and the letters in reply to his own. you could go back into his past and dig out some of the more minor people who he came across and add their contributions to it.


I really like that idea. You could build a larger story from a "collage" of a lot of smaller, loosely coupled pieces that way. I think I'll try that sometime. Another project on the shelf. Thank you! :)


/Nicolai

Ickle Lulu
June 27th, 2003, 03:29 AM
that's cool you like the idea for a collection of letters......... have a go sometime and show me the results!!!