Fantasy Writers

Short Story here!

Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
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  • #123787
    Vivian Grant
    @vivian-grant

      Hello, all! I have a short story in need of beta-reading. What I’m mainly concerned about is the story: is it intriguing enough? Does it have a smooth(ish) flow?

      Hope you enjoy it!

      https://www.dropbox.com/s/tsimipvyfeix7qf/The%20Smilers%20of%20Carmadyne.docx?dl=0

      #123857
      Kristianne
      @kristianne-hassman

        @vivian-grant

        Ooh, it’s so creepy, but I love it! The ending is really powerful, and I love how you developed the theme of needing to be informed about the danger to know how to fight it. It reminds me of this quote by C.S. Lewis: “Since it is so likely that (children) will meet cruel enemies, let them at least have heard of brave knights and heroic courage. Otherwise you are making their destiny not brighter but darker.”

        I do have a few suggestions/questions though:

        1. Why were Wren and Gladys out so late if they knew the dangers? And why wouldn’t Wren have insisted they go back home, even if Gladys would have been offended, since it’s that dangerous? Is there some way you can have it make more sense for them to be out so late? Like, maybe they got stuck somewhere, had to dig themselves out of the snow, or fell down into a ravine while they were playing. Those are just some ideas.

        2. The dialogue feels a little unnatural in some places. Reading it aloud really helps you hear what doesn’t work. Also, the dialogue tags aren’t always necessary. Most often, “she said” or “he said” works just fine. Using big words like “countered” and “reprimanded” can slow the reader down.

        3. I would also suggest using fewer adverbs. Most often, a strong verb is all you need, and it’s more powerful than several descriptive adverbs.

        But overall, I thought it was a really neat concept and well-developed story. Great job!

        Courage, dear heart.

        #123861
        Vivian Grant
        @vivian-grant

          @kristianne-hassman

          I did wonder whether their tardiness had to be better explained, and your insight confirms it. The idea was that only Wren is truly aware of the danger, thanks to her nursemaid, but being a little girl and wanting to please her friend, she is easily guiled into staying out longer. I will revise the story to convey that clearly.

          I have a weakness for using fancy dialogue tags! 😀 Thank you for pointing that out, and for responding.

          #123864
          Ella
          @writergirl101

            @vivian-grant

            Whoa, that’s SUPER creepy!!!!!! 😃  SUPER COOL, though, thanks for sharing!!!!

            A couple of comments:

            1)  That scene where Wren yelled at the Smilers was a little confusing.  Why would she do that if she knows how dangerous the Smilers are?  I think it would be better for Gladys to freak out instead of Wren, because Wren knows more about everything.

            2)  The tension was great throughout the story, which I loved!!!

            3)  You know what would be really cool is if you used more foreshadowing, ex.  classifying voices of adults (smooth, gentle, lovely) in the beginning of the story, or Wren sees/smells a specific thing when the Smilers come out (red ribbon, perfume).

            I think all short stories should (since they’re so short) pack a punch.  If you develop the characters a little more and strengthen the theme, this will be amazing!!!!!!!!  I loved it (and it inspired me to write a horror/thriller/suspense book now 😂)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

            Great job,

            Ella

            If something goes wrong in your life, yell "Plot twist!" and keep going. 😎🍰

            #123885
            Kristianne
            @kristianne-hassman

              @vivian-grant

              That makes sense. And you’re welcome! I’m glad I could help! 🙂

              Courage, dear heart.

              #123886
              Kristianne
              @kristianne-hassman

                @vivian-grant

                Oh, and by the way, that’s fine if fancy dialogue tags are your thing. I totally understand because I used to use them a lot too! I was just suggesting what my writing teacher had pointed out. The reader won’t think you’re boring if you use “said” a lot since the dialogue, not the tags are the most important part. The tags are just there to clarify who said what. And even if you’re trying to tell how a person said something, you can often show it in their words or tone.

                But don’t stress out about it. It was just a suggestion! 😀

                Courage, dear heart.

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