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Sync
December 17th, 2010, 05:48 PM
moving on

shadows
December 18th, 2010, 06:27 PM
Hi Sync

Well I'm a curious kind of person so thought I'd take a look at your story anyway.

A clever twist on the Frankenstein idea fused with Dracula. I like the characterisation and the sensuality. The blood as a lubricant was neat

As i said in the other thread, I am no expert so take my thoughts as just that.

I wondered at this


, watch as curtains in their one-bedroom apartment window flutter briefly in back-lit fluorescents before stilling into indistinguishable shadows.

and why the focus on the curtains becoming shadows as I more imagined the curtains fluttering and the couple being visible for a brief moment before becoming shadows again. Do you need indistinguishable?


“You bastard!" I hear her yell, its volume pierces a cloudless night, so much so, that even trees around me shiver.

full stop after yell.

So much so that is a bit of a mouthful when you could say -

making even the trees around me shiver

Do you need upstairs since the focus is already on them in the bedroom?


“Why can’t I have a real man? Huh? Not something put together with spare parts.” Her sneer is evident even from this distance. It’s not her fault, they're just bits of old memories coming back. Sometimes that happens. I sense his confusion, hear him lumber about picking up discarded clothing, lacing up his thick leather boots clumsily in a hurry to get out. Frankie is intimidated by women. It is a fear his father, Victor, can‘t seem to weed out.


Frankie suffered from acute brain damage at his birth, it is no fault of his that others’ human nature hate him so.

full stop after birth.

others' human nature hate him so reads awkwardly and would be better without human nature in


so pain from dis-illusions falls heavy, like monsoon rains when it comes to Frankie’s feelings.

I think you are overloading the simile. Either just have falls heavy or falls like monsoon rains and for me, when it comes to Frankie's feelings takes away some of the impact of the pain from dis-illusions


When we stop at a local tavern to have a drink Frankie sniffs at the air like it has soiled itself.

love this image


Frankie often thinks highly of himself. It is my blame to carry. Once I told him descendants of royalty ran through his blood. In truth it came from a small patch of skin located just on the inside his left thigh. Taken from a Russian Princess who had teased my jealousy to a rage - it sits pure white amongst the others.

like this as well, made me smile.


Pressing his smacking lips to the man's head, Frankie sucks hard, trying to form a seal the around socket.

It would be clearer if you said eye socket


As he does I see the
remains of an optic nerve being drawn out from a socket.

As you already mentioned his lips around the socket you don't need to say it again



I try to pull out the female's but am having difficulties due to her thick mascara. It's oily nature makes my lips slide away.


another nice touch that adds a bit of humor



His life follow his blood to the ground.

not quite sure what you mean here


The stench of sex and death lays heavily in the summer’s night, like a dead wind.

Again you overload the simile - either lays heavily in the summer's night or lays like a dead wind in the summer's night


Thanks for the read, enjoyed.

Sync
December 18th, 2010, 06:39 PM
Hello Shadows,

thank you for your time on this piece and your thoughts.

i hate similes, probably why I add to them, but I see what you are saying and so will fix. this is not a rushed decision, just something I agree with.

commas and fullstops. - to me are an individual taste, but I will look at those sections.

the fluttering curtain and upstairs. - possibly correct, I am unsure if I mentioned that their apartment was on the second floor, if so, then the redundancy has to be removed.

The socket - I am unsure if 'eye' is needed, how many sockets are in the head? but still something to consider. but the second mention needs to be removed. this is true.

other's human nature - probably me just trying new ways to express old emotions. like the life to the ground, I'm unsure about changing that, but you drew my eye.


****

thank you

suggestions made will be dealt with.

Appreciated your time spent.

len_ryuka
December 19th, 2010, 08:33 PM
All right, time to give back a little eh?

I don't normally read these types of stories, so I shouldn't be taken seriously when I say "I don't find it interesting", since it's just not my cup of tea.

But you write very implicitly, and that creates a bit of a problem. Because you never directly come out and say "I did this", or "This happened.", instead you always use a metaphor, or go about a roundabout way of saying it(implicit). So the reader has to guess their way around in an uncertain way. The eye socket thing is a good example


Pressing his smacking lips to the man's head, Frankie sucks hard, trying to form a seal the around socket.

I knew what you meant by "Socket", but it would definitely help to say "eye socket". It's simply less guess work for the reader(and still, their even uncertain of it). Like Shadows said, "it's just clearer". It's not being artistic to just tease around the tip of the ice berg, what's being presented at the visual level SHOULD be clear and concise. Yes, there are only two sockets on a human face, but for a reader, being sure of the picture is always a good thing, because if they aren't sure, then they can't begin reading the next line without even more guesswork.

I actually had to read this story twice to really get what was happening in every scene, and that's purely because the after the first time I read it, I got the back ground gist of it, so the second time around I could fill in on the "implicit" idea you were presenting with my knowledge from reading it around the first time.

However I did like the last scene, very gruesome, good stuff haha.

Sync
December 19th, 2010, 10:50 PM
Hello Len

I am still on the fence about the eye and socket.

But, those metaphors, urgh, I still struggle with them. For the longest time I didn't even know I used them so its become an old habit that I've been slowly beating down. Change does not come easy in writing for me, not because I don't want to change, but because I know it has to go through all my writing, not just that section.

So, I am aware of that problem, and see that clarity becomes an issue when there is too much imagination left to the read. (I just hate pointing at things)

But it is great you mention this to me, for it means I have to work on my writing more.

The last section. I used to write horror, more of the serial killer/torture, so that was just a piece of the old coming out in the new.

thank you for the time and thoughts.

Sync

len_ryuka
December 19th, 2010, 11:28 PM
Yeah, I know what you mean when you say
(I just hate pointing at things)
but there is a difference between "confusion and uncertainty" and "making the reader keep asking questions"

Personally I believe you fall to the former.

The latter is good because you're purposefully refraining from presenting an idea(for plot purposes). For instance, the idea that these characters are cannibals/vampires, that gets the reader asking questions and builds interest. But this idea comes more from the whole of the piece rather then from each sentence(at plot level vs sentence level).

The former contrasts because it happens often(at about every sentence), and it does not add to the plot, but rather only perplexes the reader more. I can't find a very good wording to express this idea, so I'll try my best. For instance there is that whole deal about the son being a "patchwork" in the beginning. Then later on after the bar scene, he is eating a man, then the mother has sex with a man and then eats him. You play these parts out too long trying to hide the direct fact that they are vampires(again, you're referring to their status only implicitly).

So the first time I was reading it, in my mind I was going like this(This is the typical "confusion and uncertainty" reaction):
"What? huh? What? I don't get this, what the hell? oh man what's he trying to get at? How does this have to do with what was presented before? I don't get it."

You know what I mean? sort of like when you're reading some really difficult book, and you have no clue what's happening. It's frustrating and doesn't have any appeal.

and this is how I would be thinking when I'm reading the "making the reader keep asking questions"
"Woah, I wonder what's gunna happen to him. I hope he's okay. Who are these guys? I want to know!"

The difference here is that, in the former, the reader is getting stuck at the visual level(and more so at the "background information" level), while in the latter, the reader can get the visual aspects clearly, and knows enough about the "background information" to not be perplexed by what is happening at the visual level, and simply wants to know more.

I hope I put that in a little more lucid perspective for you, because I'm not very good at explaining these sort of psychological ideas. I really regret having read it a second time because it's MUCH more clearer(in the second reading I know enough "background info" to not be confused because I know most of it after finishing it the first time), and I wanted to give you a few more specific examples but it's hard to find them now because I don't feel the same way while reading as I did the first time.

But here is one more thing:

After reading it a second time, I still don't know if they are vampires or simply cannibals. Like I said, it's too implicit! Though I'm leaning more on vampires because they are supposedly immortal? I'm not sure, like I said, you gotta make things clear.

Sync
December 19th, 2010, 11:42 PM
In a way I agree, in a way I don't.

I wrote this particular piece because I wanted to see the reaction of people when I take well-known horror creatures, some true, some untrue. the countess for example was an actual person who bathed/drank blood to keep her youth, she was thought to be the most prolific serial killer of her time with about 600 or so victims. I had a few comments telling me that Frankie didn't eat flesh or drink blood, but since he is a fictional character, I figured why not. Victor, the mad scientist, I made into a de-ranged killer, but no one worried about that because in their mind he was a monster already.

But I understand what you are saying. In a way I believe it is just a difference in reading/writing styles. I prefer not to give too much, where some prefer to lead a reader 'too much' in my view as a reader.

this all said. it is a problem that I'm aware of, and the balance between the two ways of showing/telling a story is a delicate one for me...something that I know needs work. It is something that I worked on with Nomads, but still can see it needs a bit more, so, as you said(and I agree in a way) that the reader shouldn't have to guess too much.

The thing about this piece is because these characters and their behaviours are so well known, so 'predictable' it makes any deviation away from their characters that more jarring to the reader. And I don't mean just you, because I've seen this from others at the same time as some saying they never had a problem.

I am a work in progress as a writer :) but I know I will improve because its just my nature to want to.

Thank you Len for taking the time to come back and explain. You did well, and I understood well. I'm not arguing because I know it needs to be fixed :)

Sync

shadows
December 19th, 2010, 11:44 PM
I actually rather liked the patchwork son image and thought it became clear in the paragraph a bit further on when the wife shouts she wants a real man not someone made of spare parts. And I thought they were a cross between Frankenstein and vampires.

len_ryuka
December 19th, 2010, 11:53 PM
I wrote this particular piece because I wanted to see the reaction of people when I take well-known horror creatures, some true, some untrue. the countess for example was an actual person who bathed/drank blood to keep her youth, she was thought to be the most prolific serial killer of her time with about 600 or so victims. I had a few comments telling me that Frankie didn't eat flesh or drink blood, but since he is a fictional character, I figured why not. Victor, the mad scientist, I made into a de-ranged killer, but no one worried about that because in their mind he was a monster already.


Haha sorry, I should mention that I didn't grow up in an English culture(It's actually my 3rd language after Japanese and Chinese). So I'm not very familiar with popular tales in the west(though I grew up the latter half of my youth here in Canada). So that part should be clearer to most than me.



Thank you Len for taking the time to come back and explain. You did well, and I understood well. I'm not arguing because I know it needs to be fixed :)


No problem man, any time.