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Thread: Beautiful Again (flash fiction - some sexual content) - 885 Words

  1. #1

    Beautiful Again (flash fiction - some sexual content) - 885 Words

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    Last edited by VonBradstein; November 15th, 2017 at 03:26 AM.

  2. #2
    Well. You can imagine it, can't you? I mean, we live in this world of beauty, or near-beauty, and sometimes we come to believe that's all there is. Our kind of beauty. And we see people like your Marta and Duane on the periphery; we don't let them come close. You describe them so well; I can see them clearly. If we took the time to scrape all those disagreeable visuals away, what would we find? What a challenge you present here, Von. Your story, told in the voice of a person who knows each of these people well, unwittingly reveals a secret beyond Duane's words. Yes, Beautiful Again. An apt title. Well done.

    As far as formatting and all that, I can't see any problems. I imagine there will be a variety of responses to your story and I look forward to reading them.

  3. #3
    Hey VB, great piece of writing here. I liked how colloquial the voice was, and it's pretty well put together overall. Cringe-worthy at times, which is intentional, and I think unique enough to be refreshing and fun.

    If you're looking for specific feedback, I suppose the only thing that didn't work for me, besides the dialect bordering on the unbelievable ('what done it,' etc.), would be the first-person narrative. That person, whose inflections are overt from the outset ('I remember she was a big woman,' etc.), is never given their identity, and there is an underlying narrative promise that is not fulfilled as a result. It's done this way all the time, but it just mildly distracts me. Might experiment with POV on this piece and see if it strengthens things at all.

    Seems like a worthy enough tale. Overall, the writing carries more weight than the actual story does, but I think a nice balance of writerly skill and funky midwest story. Nice job.

    As another year of crickets call through thick summer air and wind blows cadaverous old tumbleweeds 'cross the dried up old lake bed
    I particularly liked this.

    See y'round.
    Embrace Impermanence.

  4. #4
    Wɾʇ∩9 bdcharles's Avatar
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    Great piece. The only thing that stood out for me was the word jaundiced. I just couldn't imagine the narrator saying it. The word and the voice didn't match up, in my mind, as though he would perhaps have podunked it up a bit more: All broke down to small, yeller jaundy-ized points,

    Or something

    One other thing: what is the Event? I suppose this might be quite subjective but flash, to me, is like distilled oddness. This is a very well-written slice of life, but it feels stylistically like a subpart of something longer, rather than a discrete unit in its own right. You have an opportunity to make use of a foreshadow when you mention the town used to burn witches. There are hints that perhaps that trade is alive and well in Marta ("a kind of magic", "said that she aided him in remembering things", "cursed with the kind of acne") and also the sexual attraction points but it doesn't get revealed. I wonder if this could be done by means of the narrator. After all, the narrator says that he/she only ever sees Duane Huff in the shop - but then, surely if the narrator sees Duane, then the narrator must also have been there so maybe bring them in a bit more. Maybe they are a sort of Witchfinder-General or something. Anyway, I don't need to comment on your writing skills, which are pretty much bang on.




    Beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror which we are barely able to endure, and are awed,
    because it serenely disdains to annihilate us.
    - Rainer Maria Rilke, "Elegy I"

    *

    Is this fire, or is this mask?
    It's the Mantasy!
    - Anonymous

    *

    C'mon everybody, don't need this crap.
    - Wham!





  5. #5
    Thank you all.

    This is an old piece. It was longer (not very, but probably about double the word count) and I found it and liked it enough to quickly cut it out into a piece of flash fiction. Don't write a ton of flash - actually, almost never - and it probably shows. Shorter pieces is something I want to improve my skills at though, partly because it seems in high demand, mainly because I think it's just a good exercise, so the feedback is helpful.

    Regarding the voice, this probably needs work to make it more convincing - I agree with the comments about how the narrator would probably not use certain words. I was kind of going outside my zone and trying to write something in the vein of Nathaniel Hawthorne and probably need to work on my Inner Hick.

    VB

  6. #6
    WF Veteran midnightpoet's Avatar
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    My only thought on improvement would be to give the narrator a name, or at least have him (I'm assuming him) tell a little about himself - not an info dump of course, just sneak in something like a shared experience in high school. Good job, keep writing.
    "The paths of glory lead but to the grave"

    Thomas Gray

    "Oh, ye generation of vipers."

    Jesus

    "You that never done nothing
    but build to destroy
    you play with my world
    like it's your little toy..."

    "Masters of War
    Bob Dylan

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by midnightpoet View Post
    My only thought on improvement would be to give the narrator a name, or at least have him (I'm assuming him) tell a little about himself - not an info dump of course, just sneak in something like a shared experience in high school. Good job, keep writing.
    Thank you. The only reason for my not giving the narrator an identity is because I wanted to capture a rambling, reminiscent vibe and felt him to be the kind of person who likely would not speak of himself. As a piece of flash fiction I felt doing so would over complicate since it isn't really about him.

  8. #8
    Member Roac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VonBradstein View Post
    Thank you. The only reason for my not giving the narrator an identity is because I wanted to capture a rambling, reminiscent vibe and felt him to be the kind of person who likely would not speak of himself. As a piece of flash fiction I felt doing so would over complicate since it isn't really about him.
    First off, like most of your work, this is very well done.

    I can see where you are coming from with the idea of this being a rambling of the narrator but I didn’t really get the purpose of why he is rambling. I agree with midnightpoet that there should be at least something there that connects the narrator to the other characters.

  9. #9
    That's disappointing. I was catching up with my forum reading and the piece has disappeared from the original post.
    It feels like all the comments on it have been invalidated.


  10. #10
    Wɾʇ∩9 bdcharles's Avatar
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    ^ I do that when I decide I want to prepare something for further publication (I'm pretty precious about my work, for better or worse). Personally I don't feel my comment was invalidated, because it already had a response and a "like" against it, suggesting it had been read and dealt with.




    Beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror which we are barely able to endure, and are awed,
    because it serenely disdains to annihilate us.
    - Rainer Maria Rilke, "Elegy I"

    *

    Is this fire, or is this mask?
    It's the Mantasy!
    - Anonymous

    *

    C'mon everybody, don't need this crap.
    - Wham!





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