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Thread: Need help: Short Story

  1. Need help: Short Story

    I'm thinking of submitting this short story for publication. The submission deadline is July 1 (Canada Day).

    I'm looking for opinions, suggestions, or whatever. Is it shite?

    (I'll remove this in a day or two.)
    Last edited by Brisco Bold; 29 Jun 2008 at 11:59 PM.

  2. #2
    I went through it with some suggestions (see attached).

    The first half was an overly descriptive, flowery, awkward mess, but I think my suggestions help a ton.

    The second half (back at the apartment) didn't have this problem.

    Is this based on that irl chick that plagiarized huge passages of her first book?(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaavya_Viswanathan)

    Hm. As far as a story goes, I don't really understand why this guy is such a cocky douche. Did I miss something? What paper does he write for? I thought it was a University paper. I don't know, maybe those guys think they're hot shit or something...

    I think the ending needs to be rewritten. Not changed, just rewritten so it's more clear. I wasn't sure if his roomy was just doing a story on her too, or if he'd stolen some stuff from him (which wouldn't make sense since the interview just happened) or if he was dating her or what. If it's meant to be a little twist ending, it certainly needs more twist.

    Overall, it's not horrible, but I'm not sure there's much story there. Your writing kind of reminds me of Haruki Murakami, but I think you need to delve deeper into psychology and less into fashion/appearance descriptions.

    The attached said 'read only' so tell me if my highlights didn't come out. Oh, in case my comments are confusing it goes like this: yellow = problem, following red = possible solution.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by Scourge; 29 Jun 2008 at 02:20 AM.

  3. Thank you.

    I've incorporated your suggestions. Additions have been highlighted.

    One thing confused me though:

    She floats [yellow]in[/yellow] [red](remove)[/red] my general direction.

    Are you suggesting I get rid of "in" to make it "She floats my general direction?"

    Anyway, yeah, it is based on Kaavya. You're the only person who got it.

    NB: Journalism students are notoriously cocky, regardless of whether they have the skills to back it up. J-school is a hotbed for drama.
    Last edited by Brisco Bold; 13 Jul 2008 at 03:15 AM.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Brisco Bold View Post
    One thing confused me though:

    She floats [yellow]in[/yellow] [red](remove)[/red] my general direction.

    Are you suggesting I get rid of "in" to make it "She floats my general direction?"
    Yep. Either way though I guess.

  5. So what do you think of the additions?

  6. #6
    Everything flows so much better now and the additions do clear things up quite a bit. The ending still isn't quite there, so I'd take some time this week to really concentrate on it. I don't really know what you're going for shock-wise there so I don't really have any advice in that regard.

    As for the story itself, I don't find it particularly engaging, partly because it seems to come off as a journalist student's self-indulgence (I have no idea if you're a journalist student or not of course).

    I, hm, just going through what I would do if I were to rewrite this... I'd add more conflict to the interview, like he starts off really sweet so she's blind sided by the later questions even though she should have been expecting them, to a point where she doesn't hold back and really airs her grievances at her prior situation and at the reporter for being a dick. He in turn stirs the pot more, and gets perverse pleasure from doing so. She leaves in a huff. Let's face it, he might want to fuck her, but he's obviously willing to forego that fantasy anyway, so why as an author set her up as a delicate flower?

    Anyway, that's all I got for now.

  7. Cool. Thanks.
    Last edited by Brisco Bold; 30 Jun 2008 at 12:00 AM.

  8. #8
    And I hope I haven't disheartened you here. If I thought your story was bad, I wouldn't waste my time. I think you have a really good voice when you write; I find it interesting and compelling. I think this story in particular needs more punch. My criticism is only about making it better.

  9. I'll admit, there are times when I'm super disheartened. You sometimes wonder whether you've plateaued and can't get better. Whether you're the best you'll ever be.

    I just to need to find a way to tell a compelling story. I guess the trick is writing more.

    It's the punch that always eludes me.

    Thanks for the kind words though. Means a lot.
    Last edited by Brisco Bold; 30 Jun 2008 at 12:04 AM.

  10. #10
    WTF Brisco PM me your story link please, I want to read and constructivize
    Pete DeBoer's Tie
    There are no rules, only consequences.

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