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March 13th, 2001, 02:55 PM
Hi Everyone,

Well, my little story has finally made it to the site and I was hoping a couple of you could have a look and give me some feedback please?

The story, Ghost of Elysium, actually scored me a runner-up place in a writing contest last year and I've since developed the character of Cassandra into The Anvil Amulet, Book Two of my fantasy series, which begins with Reflections. (Reflections came out in paperback last month and you can also read an extract and review at this site!)

Thanking you in anticipation!

Regards, Neil

[This message has been edited by erebus (edited March 13, 2001).]

March 15th, 2001, 11:26 AM
Hi Neil
I hope you'll forgive me for being honest.
I'm afraid I found "ghost of Elysium" a little disappointing, certainly when compared to the excellent "Reflections".
It started quite good, but the ending was too abrupt, arbitrary and pointless. I had the feeling the whole first section could be erased and it wouldn't matter. I think a few more pages could have done the story justice.
This is only my personal opinion of course and I still liked it, because of the skilful writing and the fine concept.

[This message has been edited by lior (edited March 15, 2001).]

March 15th, 2001, 11:45 AM
Hi Lior,

Thanks for your feedback, and no, I don't mind your honesty at all. Everyone sees things differently. However, I will say that you are most probably right about the length of the story. It was written for a contest (and I made it on to the runners up list BTW!) and it couldn't be longer than 1000 words, hence the short, punchy, unexpected (hopefully) ending; the classic twist in the tail type scenario!

Fear not, Lior, the character of Cassandra plays a very big part in The Anvil Amulet, Book Two of The Erebus Equilibrium!



[This message has been edited by erebus (edited March 15, 2001).]

March 15th, 2001, 01:54 PM

I really was disappointed at Ghost of Elysium for a few reasons. First off, I thought the ending was very abrupt, but who am I to talk about abruptendings. I did that with my story. It was short, but very creative. I loved the creativity in it. I also didn't care for the particular storyline, but that is just me. I read "Reflections" and I thought it was MUCH better than Ghost of Elysium.


March 15th, 2001, 02:01 PM
Well, what can I say guys?

The Reflections extract is from a novel, of course, and the short story is just...a short story!

Thanks for your feedback, though.

March 18th, 2001, 08:17 PM

I read your story and liked it. I disagree with the others I actually liked the start and the way in which you presented Cassandra in the afterlife. I'll be truthful and say that the ending didn't really surprize me, but I consider myself good at predicting endings. I want to read reflections but I don't have a credit card so I won't be able to order it on the internet. Would I be able to find it at any bookstore, or would it be hard to find?

March 18th, 2001, 10:11 PM
Hi Metosblat,

Thanks for your comments. I must say I have been most surprised by some of the negative comments posted here, although I totally respect everyones opinion, of course. But, given the parameters in which I had to present the story (1000 words, complete story etc. etc.) for the contest, I felt that I had provided the readers with the necessary amount of hook to keep them reading; a complete story with a start, middle and ending; and of course, the twist in the tale!

That being said, it is very refreshing to hear all the different view points, but nevertheless, the story is to be published in a complilation with all the other contest winners!

In regards your query for purchasing Reflections: We are hopeful of getting the softcover edition into the shops here in Australia, but this may still be some time off. At present, the book can be purchased in PDF format via email; CD-ROM or Trade Softcover, but only via the net. The links for all of this are at my Erebus site: www.wn.com.au/clubclad/erebus/ (http://www.wn.com.au/clubclad/erebus/)
or you can find it at Amazon.com. All of which require a credit card though. If you would like to purchase via money order or similar, just send me an email and we can see what can be arranged. (I'm guessing you'd be happy with an emailed version in PDF format to read on screen, though I can send you a CD or paperback if required?)

Thanks again for your feedback and your interest!

Neil Cladingboel

March 19th, 2001, 09:40 AM
DISCLAIMER - if you haven’t read the story this will be a SPOILER.

I agree with both the positive and negative comments, to some extent anyway. I understand that you are trying to have a surprise twist to the ending. In my opinion, the ending is “out of the blue”. There seems to be no motivation for the mother to commit the murders. Perhaps a paragraph or two about the mother’s state of mind, showing her contempt for her daughter and husband, would do wonders for the story. Also, something that none of the others seemed to have addressed is the “mystery”. Cassandra is, apparently, trying to solve the mystery of her own murder. The ending jumps from Cassandra’s recollection of events to a narrative of what happened. Although the reader discovers the truth at the end of the story, Cassandra doesn’t really have a resolution to her struggle. This can leave some readers with a feeling of resentment (OK I know resentment isn’t quite the right word but you know what I mean?). Perhaps this is what the first couple of critiques were picking up on.

Now, having said all that, I really did like the story. These issues I raised are the type of thing that are VERY difficult for the writer to catch. Somewhere in the countless revisions and hours pondering the details of the story we sometimes get confused (or at least I know I do). We forget that the reader doesn’t know what we know. We think we make something painfully obvious but the reader doesn’t pick up on it. Foreshadowing is a difficult thing to do. It is easy to be too cryptic or too obvious.

March 20th, 2001, 08:55 AM
I found this story quite moving. When you think of the motives behind the actions.
I loved the end, very unexpected. The kind of ending i like.


March 21st, 2001, 02:08 AM
Thanks Rune, glad you liked it. I'll check out yours as soon as I have time!