I've just posted a couple of stories, 'Pictureworld' and 'Fairyland' and I'd love some feedback on them as I might enter them in a student comp (theme: magic & mystery). They are both under 500 words, so it won't take ages long to read. Thanx!
PS - the last sentence of 'Pictureworld' is not meant to be there.
March 19th, 2001, 09:59 AM
I was very impressed with Pictureworld, not so much with Fairyland.
Pictureworld seemed a bit more polished and complete. I found Pictureworld to be unique and imaginative (Of course I’m not the most well read person. I figure that if I have time to read a book, then I have time to work on my own book.) At any rate, there was really only one place I saw a problem. “Slowly, making his [way?] past the castle, he began to smell something.” Those type of omissions are one of my biggest problems. The word that you know belongs there and your brain just don’t notice that it’s missing.
Fairyland, though a decent premise, needed more work. I felt the story was a bit choppy and confusing towards the end. You switched tenses from “paused” and “watched” to “nods” and “gets” . I had to go back and re-read the story to ascertain why I was so confused and I think this was the majority of it. However I also felt that some of the confusion is due to the way that most of the story is the woman telling the story in first person. Then near the end the woman stops speaking and the narrator takes over. Although now I understand the switch from “I” to “he” and “she”, and I understand that you may not have intended the story to appear first person, but it may be confusing to readers. Perhaps there is a way to smooth the story out a bit. Something near the beginning of the story to indicate that this story is not solely a narrative of the main character.
Was there some specific criteria for the comp? Personally, I hate those stupid 1000 wd limits. I don’t think any story can really be told that quickly and for the life of me I can’t figure out what those editors or judges are looking for in a story that short. As you can see from my responses, being long winded is one of my bad habits. Good luck with which ever story you go with.
March 20th, 2001, 08:06 PM
Thanks so much for the reply Kats, and you're right the short story comps do suck.
Pictureworld: 'way' is meant to be in there, it's a good thing you picked it up, otherwise, I'd have sent it in like that.
Fairyland: I thought I could have done a lot better with this one - the original one was not as confusing, but it was about 1400 words, and I had to chop it down to 500 for the comp. Ugh.
Thanks so much for you advice; and I think it'll be Pictureworld that I'll enter.
March 21st, 2001, 03:17 AM
Good luck & let me (us) know how it goes.
Like I said though, my judgment on short short stories is not necessarily something to be trusted. I wish one of those editors / judges would write an article on the exact criteria they judge those contests on. (I’m sure there is an article somewhere, I’m just not going to search for the darn thing. It’s not like I can write a short short anyway, certainly not a 500 wd limit story. Shoot, 2000 wds limits are pushing my abilities. http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/smile.gif )
I can see how 900 more words would have helped Fairyland (gezz that’s over half the story http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/smile.gif ). It’s amazing how different the story can be with just adding or subtracting a few hundred words.
March 22nd, 2001, 03:59 PM
Hi, I enjoyed both your short stories, Umesha, although I would have to agree with Kats that Fairyland appeared somewhat rushed and a little confusing. Pictureworld is definitely the better of the two and I can understand why you'll be submitting that one!
I like your style and wish you every success with your creative writing in the future.
I have also posted a short story, Ghost of Elysium, which has its own topics for feedback already posted here. Also, I have put up an extract from my first published novel, Reflections ( also with its own topic). You may like to have a look at both if you have the time.
[This message has been edited by erebus (edited March 22, 2001).]
March 28th, 2001, 06:09 AM
I liked Fairyland. It was one of those ironic kind of stories, that dipress you in a sweet way.
Haven't read the Pictureworld, yet... http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/smile.gif
April 2nd, 2001, 10:29 AM
Hey Umesha, both very nice stories.
How long have you been working on them?
April 3rd, 2001, 09:19 PM
Ntschotschi - Sorry to say, not very long, about four days! Yes, I'm ashamed, but I really had to leave it to the last minute, first priority was 2 essays, 1 oral, 3 tests and 1 folio for school, then work. Writing was next, in front only of reading and TV!