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Firebird
November 27th, 2010, 08:16 PM
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Bloomsday
November 27th, 2010, 08:28 PM
None of them really liked John. Not that He never openly criticised them, but they felt that he was. Round a table, his colleagues said things like, ‘He’s immature,’ or ‘He’s not very clever’, and told stories about how he’d annoyed them without even knowing it, but that they realized that it wasn’t really his fault and that he couldn’t help himself. Why does he annoy them? Because they think he's criticizing them? Also, whose POV are we in? If it's John's, how does he know what they're thinking? Then, all of sudden, It's just a personal tick, but I have an aversion to sentences that begin with "all of a sudden." I think it's cheating. their skin disappeared, and their eyes no longer looked squarely at one another, but darted from side to side in their skinless sockets; the muscles of their faces stretched, contorted, and where there was meant to be knowing smiles they saw strings of muscle, instead. Not sure what you mean by "knowing smiles." Nevertheless, they continued to talk about John as if nothing had happened. None though daring dared to look at their own bodies or to touch the surface of their own faces’.

It certainly is an intriguing opening, and I'm curious to see where it's going, but I wanted to know a little more about John outright. It appears that this is his story, not those who are gabbing around the table, yet we really don't get to know much about him. For instance, is he the one who causes their skin to disappear? Where is he? Standing in the room with them? Or are we in their POV and they're just discussing him? Because it seems like it's John's POV initially, but then we get into the heads of the collective, so then that can't be the case. Or does John in fact not make any difference to the story at all? Perhaps he is just a vehicle to use that portrays how superficial and gabby this clique really is? It could be, but nevertheless, I'm curious about John, and think he has a purpose.

Anyhow, you describe the scene with some great, visceral detail. Curious to read the rest.

Bilston Blue
November 28th, 2010, 10:46 PM
I agree with Bloomsday, there is enough here to intrigue me.

I'm going to pick on a technical point, one I find myself being really fussy with when I write, and when I read too. Eliminate as many uses of the word 'THAT' as possible. It's a weak word, it doesn't really achieve anything, and the sentence in which you use it three times doesn't suffer when deleting all of them.

So, 'but that they realized that it wasn’t really his fault and that he couldn’t help himself.' becomes:

'but they realized it wasn't really his fault, and he couldn't help himself.' It becomes more concise, a little less flabby if you like.