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Fantasy Writers

Short Story Critique

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 18 total)
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  • #111155
    Linyang Zhang
    @devastate-lasting

    So I wrote a short story, trying out a few different things, based it off of a song I heard…

    If you want to leave a comment or something that’d be cool.

    Not sure if it’d be wise to leave the link here forever, but oh well.

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1NcQr5q2xLyoisr3Os1RBMgU0AG7LZaN6/view?usp=sharing

     

    "I set a melody upon the scenery I saw outside my window;
    It's beginning in my spacy world."
    - TK

    #111179
    Beth Darlene
    @beth20

    Hey,

    The story is very different from anything I’ve ever read but I was pretty good!

    Don’t take this offensively or anything please, but is he supposed to be gay? Bc, it sounded like your characters liked each other.

    There was something about the story I really really liked!!

    Anyway good job!

    -Beth

     

    Jominkreesa! For the weirdos who know what it means! 😉 I love you guys!

    #111182
    Linyang Zhang
    @devastate-lasting

    @beth20 Thank you for your critique! And no, they weren’t supposed to be gay, just good friends. 🙂

    "I set a melody upon the scenery I saw outside my window;
    It's beginning in my spacy world."
    - TK

    #111183
    Beth Darlene
    @beth20

    @devastate-lasting

    Ohh haha yeah, it just kinda seemed like it since they danced lol! XD

    Jominkreesa! For the weirdos who know what it means! 😉 I love you guys!

    #111184
    Linyang Zhang
    @devastate-lasting

    @beth20 Haha yeah just bros being bros

    "I set a melody upon the scenery I saw outside my window;
    It's beginning in my spacy world."
    - TK

    #111185
    Beth Darlene
    @beth20

    Haha gotcha!

    Jominkreesa! For the weirdos who know what it means! 😉 I love you guys!

    #111186
    Chalice
    @chalice

    @devastate-lasting, Hey, I just read through your story. I really liked it. 🙂

    One main thing that kind of stood out to me in a quick read through, was I couldn’t figure out what age the characters were supposed to be. At first I thought they were grown men, but as I kept reading I figured they were probably supposed to be younger…

    Anyway, other than that confusion, I very much enjoyed the story. It made me feel something, so it will probably stick with me for a while. 🙂

    ENFP-T/Artist/Writer/Musician
    “Creativity takes courage” -Henri Matisse

    #111188
    Linyang Zhang
    @devastate-lasting

    @chalice Thank you for pointing that out! Yeah, when I was writing it I wasn’t really sure about that either at first, so I guess I didn’t establish it well.

    Thanks for reading it! i’m glad you enjoyed.

    "I set a melody upon the scenery I saw outside my window;
    It's beginning in my spacy world."
    - TK

    #111217
    Kristianne
    @kristianne-hassman

    @devastate-lasting

    Wow, this is probably one of the most unique stories I’ve ever read! Great job with the second person point of view. That’s hard to pull off! The theme, the ending, the progression of the story are all beautifully done and powerful. I especially like how you named the people of the village with their defining characteristics. It really gives it the feel of a fairytale or a legend.

     

    Courage, dear heart.

    #111223
    Linyang Zhang
    @devastate-lasting

    @kristianne-hassman Thank you so much for your comments! I’ve always liked 2nd person, and I feel that there aren’t enough stories out there with it. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

    "I set a melody upon the scenery I saw outside my window;
    It's beginning in my spacy world."
    - TK

    #111236
    Eitan
    @eitan

    @devastate-lasting

    The story isn’t like anything I’ve read, but I love it! 🙂

    At first I was sure that it’s an allegory for Christ. It doesn’t seems so, but Corian is definitely Christlike.

    I was quite confused from the characters’ age, though.

    Hmm, I’m sorry if I offend you, but… Are you Chinese?

    You don't need to see the wind itself in order to hear the rustling leaves.

    #111237
    Linyang Zhang
    @devastate-lasting

    @eitan Thank you for your comments! The storyline is kind of based off a song, and when I hear it, that’s what I thought too.

    Yeah, I should definitely fix the ages at the beginning. Thanks for pointing that out.

    As a matter of fact, I am Chinese. 🙂

    "I set a melody upon the scenery I saw outside my window;
    It's beginning in my spacy world."
    - TK

    #111238
    The Inkspiller
    @the-inkspiller

    @devastate-lasting

    Like the others have said – quite different! The use of second person lent a hefty nostalgic feel to it  and gave it a poignant ‘in memoriam’ gravitas and atmosphere to what could otherwise have felt very impersonal or distant. The procession of false expectations, rumors, whispering, gossip, and mob rule was also brilliantly done.

    I do have to second @beth20 – the narrator’s tone and their interactions were suggestive of a “relationship” – at least through the lens of our culture. I definitely found myself somewhat confused on the narrator’s gender and checking back and forth to see if the pronouns were consistent.

    I’ll take your word for it that they’re just really close bros, but as a guy myself I would like to offer some constructive criticism on making the relationship more clearly platonic / clearing the air of any accidental romantic intimations while still maintaining that mystical / fantastical atmosphere.

    If you still want to use dancing as a bonding moment in their relationship, I would suggest building in an explanation / world-building scene in advance which clearly shows that in this world, dancing is not a necessarily romantic activity. Western culture (e.g. America) tends to see dancing as a romantic activity, and interpret a lot of older / more traditional expressions of affection as romantic (e.g., the legions of ding-dongs who think that Samwise Gamgee and Frodo Baggins are gay, not realizing that it’s totally normal in a lot of Western European / Latin cultures for men to ‘kiss’ each other on the cheek (it’s like a peck that misses) as a greeting, and has been normal since the medieval period).

    Otherwise, for the sake of an unknown audience that may not be so historically acquainted, you may wish to replace the activity with something more conventionally masculine.

     

    Examining the text again, several hours later, it’s not the dancing (at least not by itself) – it’s the way the narrator speaks about Corian, the narrator’s language and style which – well – feel very feminine, at least to me, which I doubt was intentional (on my first read through, I thought the narrator was female).

    My guess is that you were going for a more elegant tone to build a sense of fantastical majesty and age (as opposed to cheeky modernity). By all means, keep using that and refining your diction and syntax, as we’ve far too many “medieval” fantasies in the world with not a whit of attention paid to how our ancestors actually behaved, thought, and spoke. As an addendum, I really do like the wistful tone that permeates the story.

    However, the feminine patterns of communication between the narrator and Corian feel just a little awkward / unsettling to me with the narrator being male. I think portraying a deep-intimate male friendship is a super cool thing that doesn’t show up in literature all that often (thanks to the cultural precept that men don’t have feelings or talk about them) – but this doesn’t feel quite like it.

    I wish I could articulate it better, but there’s just something odd about the manner of the narrator’s introspection. Perhaps I’m just narrow-minded, but it feels weird to read it as a guy – it feels very… non-guy-like. 😐

    One note is eye contact – it may just be me, but my experience among myself and my male friends has seen that men rarely if ever make eye contact when they get emotional. Perhaps it’s just Western culture, but even the most introspective and emotionally honest men I know find tearfulness to be utterly shameful and humiliating. I know that it feels that way for me. Our reaction to emotional pain that we can’t “fix” is to shut it off, to just stop feeling. We compartmentalize, seal off the damaged parts of our soul to keep trudging on – because our sense of self-worth tends to be based on our capabilities (instead of the capabilities of our Lord).

     

    One tangential comment – men don’t usually just sit around and talk. We don’t handle our heart-to-hearts like that – not in a sober state, not unless we’re at our wits’ end. We get together for activities, for a purpose (e.g., why tons of dudes’ friendships consist of guys they play video games with), and we happen to have deep conversations while doing this other thing.

     

    I’m going to stop myself here and do some more research to articulate myself, but I want to end this on a positive note. The story is strong and I really like what I see; my only real criticism (if a very protracted one) is on the masculinity of its two main characters and their relationship.

    Non nobis Domine, sed nomini, Tuo da gloriam.

    #111253
    Linyang Zhang
    @devastate-lasting

    @the-inkspiller Thank you so much for your honest feedback! I really appreciate it. As you have probably deduced by now, I am a girl, so writing from a guy’s point of view accurately is a field which I still need to work on. I also don’t actually hang around guys that much, so my knowledge is also limited. I will definitely keep your comments in mind and work to the best of my ability.

    Thank you so much for taking the time to read and tell me your thoughts! It really means a lot. 🙂 (Also, I apologize if it made you uncomfortable. I try not to.)

    "I set a melody upon the scenery I saw outside my window;
    It's beginning in my spacy world."
    - TK

    #111255
    The Inkspiller
    @the-inkspiller

    @devastate-lasting

    No worries! And no sweat about any discomfort – if there was any, I know now it was absolutely unintentional. 🙂

    Non nobis Domine, sed nomini, Tuo da gloriam.

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