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Thread: Short Fiction Beginning (420 words)

  1. #11
    I think you have a lot to offer here. You have some very vivid and intense descriptions that are a strong point. I think you just need to pace yourself a little more. Maybe lean back a little and slowly bring your story to the forefront while not info-dumping too much on the reader at the same time. However, I do think you have a good basis to work with.

    Keep on writing and thanks for sharing!
    Carpe Diem.

  2. #12
    Member Absolem's Avatar
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    Dec 2016
    I thought it was pretty cool. I was engaged. Who's to say its an info dump without any reference to anything? You don't know how the story turns out.
    "Love your enemies." - Jesus

  3. #13
    Some really insightful critique that I am taking on board myself.

    To the writer: There's nothing to be said, that hasn't already been said. I'd just like to say that I think you could have the basis of quite a powerful and compelling piece and I look forward to seeing where it goes!

    Just to offer a different POV - I quite like reading about dreams in stories. This early on in the story it has me questioning whether it will be relevant in the future. Maybe it indicates the character is a little, psychologically messed up...maybe it doesn't. It has me thinking thought.

    Of course, if it's not relevant in the future...then I see where the other comments came from.


  4. #14
    In my opinion a lot of your sentences are too long. Run ons really. Maybe a little editing would help.

  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Burkholder View Post
    Apert isnít one of those well known health problems that has fund drives, pink ribbon bumper stickers and awareness 4Ks. People only organize awareness events for the cool kid disorders. Otherwise, no one would show up.
    I really felt this. Great write, Burk. Like bdcharles said, I think you could definitely back up a step and give the reader more of the backstory so they're able to both relate to the story/connect better and understand the situation at hand. Other than that, great start.


  6. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Burkholder View Post

    Nobody knows quite how to handle him. When people see his bulging eyes and his wide, Martian forehead and his webbed fingers, their eyes fill with disgust and fear like they think heís an alien. When Greg tries to reassure them by explaining that he just has a facial disorder called Apert Syndrome people just furrow their brows and say ďhuh?!Ē When he repeats himself they turn a sad, quizzical gaze towards his mother. Apert isnít one of those well known health problems that has fund drives, pink ribbon bumper stickers and awareness 4Ks. People only organize awareness events for the cool kid disorders. Otherwise, no one would show up.
    I'm no pro. I get lots of feedback from pros all the time. Proffesors and students. I am one unit away from finishing my creative writing major, and the single most important lesson I've been having beaten into my brain, CONSTANTLY, with lowered marks and comments that say, "I'd like to see..."

    So, in keeping with that theme, I'd like to see you be more ... wait for it ... consice. Yes, it was my problem, and I now finally see that it is a big one for lots of writers. Especially new ones. The thing with writing is, REEVISHUN REEVISION Revision. See how that works? I believe people start off trying to tell a schizophrenic story when they first start writing it. They split their brain in half and try to say what happens, while simultaneously trying to say it poetically. Just tell your story. Tell it like you are telling your neighbour. That is where your voice will be. On the second rewrite, remove the crap people say in real life that noone likes to read. Words like "um", "uh", and "You know what I mean?"

    In a conversation, people will ask questions when they need clarification, but when reading, we don't have that luxury. Therefore you have to give the answer to the question, before it needs to be asked. Here's what your first paragraph might look like if I was writing it. Again, I'm no pro, and you'll find stuff wrong with my version, but I'm attempting to demonstrate consiceness.

    `Greg struggles with people. His friend has Apert Syndrome. A genetic disorder that has given him the appearance of an alien. When people see Greg's friend with his large forehead, sunken face, and bulging eyes, their faces become even uglier than his friends. Ugly with disgust, and bewilderment. Most don't even know they're doing it. Greg tries to educate them, but their confusion only increases.`

    That is my example. I'm sure it isn't perfect, but I tried to give only pertinent information, before I tried to evoke emotion. Don't try to evoke emotion before we know what we're feeling for.

    Also, I have a disabled son. This is a story I can relate too. However, Apert Syndrome does indeed get events. I've been to one. It's your fiction world, though. Who am I to say what happens in it, however, if you write about something real in a fiction world, your knowledge of it needs to be as complete as the way you feel about it. Reason being, you don't want your readers saying, "Oh, that's a load of crap." in the first paragraph.

    Again, great story, just revise. Good luck, and I would definitely not give up on this one. If only to bring more awareness to AS research.

  7. #17
    I think it's a great beginning for a story. From the info I've read so far I would think Greg is bound to lash out in some kind of attack against other student's and the people who pity him. The dream give's me the thought that there's some deep mental frustration that's just waiting for that one thing to happen that cause's him to snap. Interesting so far, I'm looking forward to reading more.

  8. #18
    My critique can't compare to others on this forum, but there are a few comments I can make about my experience as a reader reading your work.

    Overall, I found the tone too descriptive.
    I think you should write each of these events he describes as an actual scene, with dialog and action to show the reader his relationships with adults and other children.

    Specifically, I found:
    Although not the most enticing or artful introductory phrase, I found it was enough to keep me reading: I wanted to know who 'he' was, and what they couldn't handle. It was the next phrase, which still didn't get me involved, which put me off. Particularly the 'when people saw'. I'm not sure why, but this stands out to me as particularly boring.
    I think you'd do better to drop the character straight into a scene so we can meet him more personally.

    I did enjoy some of the languages you used. Particularly 'adult magnet', 'an adult will materialize out of thin air', 'drenched in pity', ' Apert isn’t one of those well-known health problems that have fund drives, pink ribbon bumper stickers, and awareness 4Ks. People only organize awareness events for the cool kid disorders. Otherwise, no one would show up.'

    Those phrases were like little nuggets of candy in a sewer; nice in isolation, but too surrounded by filth to rouse the appetite.

    The text just feels dead. It feels like I'm reading an article about the disease. I'm kept at a distance. The information is forced into the story, rather than flowing naturally.

    More action! More dialog! Drive this story forward with characters and relationships.
    Last edited by Penless; May 26th, 2017 at 07:49 PM.

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