Post Reply Working on a new short
19300 cr points
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25 / M / Canada
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Posted 9/20/16
So I've finally started work on another short story, wondering if any of you editing types I've seen in here wanna give the initial a read and slam me down with some critique. Thank you

qwueri 
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Posted 9/20/16
I was fairly put off by the opening hook. It rambles a fair bit about the premise, and by the time I got to 'I'm boring you' I legit felt bored. I just didn't feel the humor to lead into a rhetorical line like that. It's just a bit too dry and meta, breaking the draw of the hook.

Following that, the first line of the second paragraph contradicts the rest of the story. Perhaps the 'story about a story' started with the letter to Violet's son, but the writing of that letter does not play a role in the remaining story. Yes, it does indicate the overall tone. But it feels like it should be the actual start, to just dive right in. But it needs to be recalled towards the end for it to effectively echo back to the tone and point that you set up from the start.

The body of the story itself was okay, if a little weak at points. If she had such a firm grasp on the subject matter, why did she barely scrape by in grades?

Violet's description of her daughter seems unusually detached for a child she has been raising for 9 years. Either a noteworthy detail that could stand to be commented on, or their relationship needs to be more familial and personal.

Try to remain consistent in the narrator's knowledge. When mentioning Violet's progress on her novel in college the narrator is unsure in the present that she had 'finished her novel' when it's explicitly mentioned later on that she never started at all. While your narrator is speaking in present tense, past uncertainty should be referred to in past tense: 'hell I didn’t know if she even started it.' (A small detail, but it just bugs me in rereading it.)

Finally, the ending feels flat. For all the buildup of the personal frustration the narrator has with Violet, the jovial ramble at the beginning and familiar tone throughout, the story just stops. The last line feels like the setup for a stinger, a punchline, the point of the entire story. And it just ends.

Sorry for leaning so heavily on the critical end, I do think overall it's a good start for a story. The tone and flow really picks ups once you get rolling, and it expresses the narrator's relationship and feelings for Violet pretty well. I'd recommend for the next stage of polish to focus on making whatever point you are trying to make clear by the conclusion.
19300 cr points
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25 / M / Canada
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Posted 9/20/16


Should have noted it was an unfinished bit so my bad on that.

Other than that, don't apologize for being critical man, that's why I put it up here. The worst thing you could've done for me is just call it good and move on. The fact that you put the effort in to read over it and give me this kinda criticism makes me pretty damned happy. Appreciate it a lot man and I'll be keeping that in mind as I finish it and edit it. Cheers.
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Posted 9/20/16
-First paragraph and second paragraph both seem to be trying to do the same thing in two different ways, yet neither of them really succeed. It feels like you are trying to step the reader into the story through the narrator's personality, but the first paragraph comes across as inconsequential and overly meta while the second paragraph doesn't flow into the third and doesn't present narrator's personality strongly enough.
-The voice could be more natural.
-The pacing of the events seems too abrupt.
-The format is lost on me. I think I need to read the completed work before I finish this thought, but as of now, it doesn't feel purposeful.
-Seems to lack focus. I found myself asking "why do I need to know this" a few times, so I'll be interested to see which elements you reincorporate.

Sorry that my feedback is a bit half-baked, but I feel like my criticism is empty without the end. I don't see where you are going, so I can't really tell if the path you are taking is going to get me there....
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