Posted Jul 15 2012 - 08:55 PM
Posted Jul 22 2012 - 11:53 PM
You need spaces between the dashes and "am" -- it should be like one of these two ways:I was -- am -- a monster.I was--am--a monster.So either space at both or space at neither. That goes for all dashes, but it really stood out here because dashes are often used for emphasis in chatspeak, which is what this looks like here.
“I was –am– a monster... and you’re no better. I sat there and watched as you ended all those lives... I did nothing. And you– you were laughing.”
As it is, it sounds like it just happens to hit the Toa's face. I assume that the guy meant to hit the Toa, in which case it'd be better to re-word it as: "flinging the chair at the Toa's face" or something like that, where it's clear that he threw the chair at the Toa.
I cry in frustration and grip my chair tighter, heaving and grunting and swinging my arms, flinging the chair through the air. It collides with the Toa’s face and his mask is knocked off.
Confusedly is a very weak word. So much so that it really distracted from the story. I'm not even sure if it's technically a word or not, but assuming it is, "in confusion" or even "...his head, confused as I..." would fit much better.
He sits there as I take my first step towards the mask, watches as I reach it, and shakes his head confusedly as I bring my foot up.
Just like everything is my fault.You make it sound like he's feeling guilty, yet I don't feel that at all. I don't feel any emotion from him right here, really. I'll touch upon this a little more later, but basically -- characterization is important. The reader should feel the emotions the character feels, but I couldn't here because I didn't have enough information. How, exactly, is it his fault? But I'll get to my questions. ---You've got some great descriptions and imagery, etc., but the explanations are lacking. Where are they (besides a white room with a red table -- on that note, that was very cool; I wish you would've done more with it, related it to the character or something -- made it mean something, but as it is it simply remains a cool room, rather than what it could be: a cool plot factor/etc.)? Who are they? What are they? Why are they here? What's the point?And then we shy away from the general questions and get into specifics. What universe did he save? How did he save that universe? What universe did he destroy? How did doing what he did destroy a universe? What mask did he destroy? Why is the mask so important important? And the questions that you did answer were answered vaguely or un-satisfyingly. To your credit, the story itself was written very well. Your writing style is enjoyable, and as I said earlier your imagery was good. The pace was well-done, and I was definitely gripped from start to finish. As Tolkien said in his first review, the overall writing structure was there, and it's here as well. Well done. I just had a lot of questions along the way. And not in a good way. For example, having the reader question whether or not he really did destroy the universe can be a good thing -- the character is confused, trying not to believe it, etc., so the reader can be too. But the problem is that enough explanation isn't given for the reader to really decide either way. It just leaves the character confused, not leaving him with things to think about/question/decide for himself. For example, the ending of Inception (or TDKR, or pretty much any Nolan film =P) leaves the watcher able to think/question/decide for himself what the whole movie meant or what really happened/etc., but is still extremely satisfying. It leaves the watcher wanting more, it leaves the watcher having questions, but again, it's all satisfying.But now, let me go read the previous two stories and this one again and see if that clears anything up. Okay, reading all that over, this story is a little better. But I wanted to read this as a normal reader would -- by itself. I'll talk more about that towards the end, but for now, back to the actual story. Let me start off by saying that I did really enjoy reading these stories. As I said earlier, it (and they) kept my attention throughout, and the idea behind it is incredibly interesting. Unfortunately, the delivery falls short. Namely, most of the questions I had earlier still remain true. A few of them were cleared up, yes, but still. The problem is, I think, that you don't explain things enough. Now, having a sense of mystery is good -- in fact, it was one of the things I liked about it -- but the problem is that you have too much, or too little. In the first two stories, you have these two, very similarly fast-paced stories. In one he's running, in one he's, in a way, running "in his mind" trying to figure things out. And then we come to the third. Much more description, much more detail. So taken by itself it was quite good, but if you put all three stories together, it seems like you took your time with the first too, then crammed everything in at the last moment. Instead, I'd suggest revealing things one at a time, spread out. Reveal something big early on, but don't really explain it. Then explain something else, etc., etc., until you get to near the end when finally all those big reveals come together and make sense. It would just make the final revelation (that is, that he killed a universe/etc.) much, much bigger and better. Of course one of the biggest problems with that is simply the format of the stories themselves, as I alluded to earlier (just reading this one by itself first). You can't expect people to read the previous two, especially when you don't even link to them in this topic. But even if you did link to them here I would highly recommend against it. This is all really one story -- it should stay just a single story, rather than broken up into three (you can break it up by using scene breaks, but still in a single post). Or if you really want to break it up like this, then I'd do so in Epics. Either way, the fact is that these stories right now aren't connected in the best way. If this was all put together, fleshed out a little more and edited so that they fit together better, it'd be a much, much more powerful story, and so much more enjoyable than it already was. The other problem is that you don't really give the story any sort of meaning (Tolkien mentioned this as well). The character seems conflicted, but the reader is too confused to really feel for him or to take anything from that. Paying more attention to characterization would also be highly in your favor. You did a good job with a lot of things, but in the end, the most important things were still left undescribed. Those rhetorical questions I pointed out earlier. The next thing I want to point out is the title (as Zaxvo briefly mentioned). Titles are key in my opinion. They're what makes someone read a story in the first place. If I was just browsing the SS forum, I would not click on this story (even less so would I click on "A Story"). The forum is called Short Stories -- every single topic in here is going to be a story (with the exception of some like the pinned topics), so saying it's a story is redundant. Give it a powerful title that draws the reader in. So in conclusion I'd really just stress what I and the other SSCC reviewers said before. I really think that, with a little more effort, this could become something truly great, as it was already quite good. You've got the actual writing structure down, you have the very interesting idea down, you have the cool plot twist down, but it could all be executed better. And I really urge you to write more serious stories as well. You're pretty good at it.
A one of a kind mask is wiped from existence in a heartbeat, and it is my fault.
"As a writer you ask yourself to dream while awake." ~ Aimee Bender
Posted Jul 23 2012 - 11:15 AM
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