I just posted a story I wrote last summer to my website and I'm wondering if anyone would care to read it and let me know what you think. Its called "Burn" and only about 2500 words long. Here's the link:
Please don't take it easy on me. Let me know what you really think.
June 6th, 2004, 03:26 PM
I liked it.
Your prose is smooth and the story moved brisquely. I like your hook line, a real eye opener.
A couple of sentences sounded a little clunky to my ear:
1)Halfway down page 5, "Achates was nowhere to be seen, as was the captain." Something like 'Achates was nowhere to be seen. The captain was gone as well.' might be a little easier on the mind.
2)Toward the bottom of page 9. "Until a greasy liquid that smelled kind of good stared draining out." Started (and that was the only obvious typo). I thought "greasy liquid that smelled kind of good" would have sounded better as 'greasy liquid that smelled faintly sweet.' or something like that. "kind of good" just seemed too flippant for what it was that he was smelling, and why.
Overall I think the story could use another 500 words or so. I understand why you wanted to avoid describing the characters until the last scene, but I had trouble keeping the players straight in my head. If you don't want to give a physical - and I would seriously consider at least a vague one - then maybe consider making each one's dialogue more distinct. It will help the reader tell each one apart. Also, I would add a few words at the end where Lozi falls into the snow. I wasn't sure if he was in some kind of purgatory, the burning village, or somewhere else altogether. A quick paragraph about his surroundings would have added to the dramatic effect of his last moments IMHO.
June 6th, 2004, 06:11 PM
thanks alot for reading it, ironchef.
After reading your points, I agree with all of them. Others who've read the story have mentioned that they had a hard time keeping track of the characters too, but I was hoping to get an opinion from a real SF/F fan, and the people in this forum have opinions that I really respect.
Thanks so much! If you ever have anything you want read and critiqued, I'd be happy to do it.