View Full Version : The Mechanical Son

May 15th, 2013, 09:22 PM

May 15th, 2013, 10:24 PM
I'll just simply say what I did and didn't like. I liked how the clock holds it all together, as well as the ending. I suppose his father is dead or dying, but that is of course what the reader is supposed to wonder at.
What I didn't like was the beginning - the line about not noticing one's own existence seemed a bit too heavily laden and too unimaginable to me. That, and the role of the tutors. Perhaps you could state their nature or purpose so that there is a clearer image of the scene and of Ira.

May 15th, 2013, 11:22 PM
Well a nice job interesting. I enjoyed the initial paragraph as it brought to me an image of a father driven to have his son succeed in life, more than given the tools for such success. The tutors and the library with its books brought out a family of well to do means. I'll also mention that the clock almost became the main character, a nice twist even if unintentional. I'd be interested in reading more.

May 18th, 2013, 01:18 PM
Thanks a lot guys. Those are both perspectives I'd not fully thought of, so they're most helpful.

May 21st, 2013, 03:43 AM
Minus a few small errors (really nothing much) it was a good read. I really enjoyed the use of the clock as a constant to lead to his father's death was well done. Wondering as to what, or who, killed him. All these mentions of gears and cogs and mechanics really enlighten the reader to this world of technology, and I am curious to know what kind of world this is. Seems to have a steam-punk vibe, correct me if I am wrong. And of course, you have me intrigued by the name of the book alone, and I'll admit I want to know what the Mechanical Apostles are.
Good work.

May 22nd, 2013, 08:42 PM
I like the eerie not quite creepy style of writing you used. I also liked how you let the reader come to their own conclusion.

May 23rd, 2013, 12:09 PM
Fantastic opening, I'd be interested to read more. Everything, from the tutors to the books to the clock, establish the world the story is set in without going off on a detailed description. We know that since the clock needs to be wound the state of technology, etc...

The disturbance of an established routine is a thrilling way to start a story. Good work.

May 23rd, 2013, 06:47 PM
Thanks very much everyone! I'm just writing a bit that might go before this, from Ira's perspective, and lead into him reflecting on the preceding hours, where the above section has occurred It might be better or it might be worse, but as I wasn't entirely happy with the first couple of lines of this I thought I'd give it a go. I can always go in afterwards if it doesn't work.

May 24th, 2013, 07:46 AM
I like the idea of him not noticing his own existence being right there at the beginning, because what child does? That said, I'd change the word order to 'Ira hardly noticed his own existence, at first.' I can't say why, but that just sounds better to me. An intriguing start, I'd be interested to read more.

May 24th, 2013, 10:50 AM
Nice little vignette - makes me curious about the rest of the story. There is just one line that I would definitely change.

'The vast world existedwas there, of course, but that was far away and someone else’s concern.'

Simply because it is such a nice idea you have for the boy that I don't think it should be expressed too wordily. I like the picture though and the absence of heavy judgement in your writing.

It interests me that you write in this fashion, like slotting a jigsaw puzzle together. I always write from beginning to end and then go back and fatten/thin where necessary. Always intrigued by what works for other people.

May 26th, 2013, 12:21 PM
Thank you both - Gargh, I'd be interested to know what you mean by the jigsaw analogy as it's something I've not really thought about before.

May 26th, 2013, 02:14 PM
I meant, simply, that the order in which you are writing your story is like you are piecing together bits of the whole to form a picture rather than writing from A to B, beginning to end.

I mentioned it because you said you were 'finally' writing the beginning so I had assumed (perhaps incorrectly?) that you had already written some middle parts and maybe an end? You then commented that you were also writing more before 'the beginning' as well. It reminded me of completing a jigsaw puzzle from the inside out, piecing together the iconic bits you know first - like perhaps the Eiffel tower in a Paris jigsaw - and then working out the frame.

May 26th, 2013, 02:40 PM
Ah, got you. And yes, you're quite right. I had written the beginning already (in fact it's somewhere miles down the list from months back, along with a bit from Chapter 3 called "Dinner" which I was quite proud of) but it just wasn't up to snuff so I thought I'd have a go at doing it properly so I could draw a line under it. It kept bothering my that I was working on chapters 12-15 knowing that the beginning wasn't totally sorted.

May 27th, 2013, 06:41 PM
I wanted to get more into this, but a few things prevented me from being immersed.

1) I feel there is an overuse of commas; it slows the pace down to a crawl. Perhaps this matches the theme, but it does not make for an attention-grabbing opening.
2) There are definitely too many adverbs.
3) Third-person omniscient.
4) There is a passive voice at times.
5) The prose is occasionally purple.
6) Though it is cliche, this brings to mind the old problem of show and tell. Rather than telling the reader about how Ira views his life, why not show it in a scene? Then you could paint a better picture of him and have the story begin on more gripping content. You appear to have summed up a chapter in a paragraph.

I see this as the outline for an opening, but it has yet to have been written as a scene.

May 27th, 2013, 08:25 PM
Thank you Cadence, this is fantastic feedback! Time for a little back-to-back test I think.

May 27th, 2013, 08:41 PM

June 21st, 2013, 09:45 PM
Again as with a lot of the stuff I've read on here this evening, I already want more, and so to that end you can be assured Higurro that it at least works for me. Call me strange but I could almost hear the mechanism of the clock, and how it clearly brought order and motion to your mechanical world, then the beat stops, and we are left with the flesh, blood and decay of the mortal world, the clock stopping at the beat of the heart of its creator. Magnificent little read.

July 4th, 2013, 03:39 AM
Something so simple as a clock stopping has reeled me in. Your new edited versions seem technically great, but I love the way your writing in your first post made the boy seem so absent from the world as long as that clock kept ticking. I didn't get the same from the newer posts. Perhaps find where they meet in the middle? Less thoughts in the boys head at first so it shows that he snaps to a higher level of attention when the clock stops?