Edited by Jon Osterman, Jul 20 2013 - 09:21 PM.
Posted Jul 20 2013 - 09:06 PM
It was just a tiny nothing moment - my mom patching up the side of a birdcage, winding some spare wire around the frame to reinforce it. I was fixated on that image, and that sound. The cage kind of bending and twanging as she worked on it, wrapping and knotting, scrapping copper against paint like bowing a rubber violin with a railroad tie.
Posted Jul 27 2013 - 10:50 PM
[color=rgb(0,128,0);][font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]I heard a rumor that somebody here requested an SSCC review. So, I thought I'd oblige. (Orders have nothing to do with it. Threats might. But forget about that. I digress.)Starting with style—because I always do—your prose is beautiful and flows pleasantly. The all-important descriptions are subtle, elegant, and strong. And you even avoided any typographical errors. Granted, this was a short piece, but I will always applaud a grammatically sound story, of any length. Well done.[/color][/font]
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(0,128,0);][color=rgb(0,128,0);]Also, that’s a beautiful passage you chose for an epigraph, and it fits the story perfectly (or, perhaps more accurately, the story fits it perfectly). Who cares if it’s long? It’s a nice accent. The quote you end on is another excellent choice; ah, Shelley![/color]Story. The theme is a personal favorite and something I’d read all day long. In fact, I would have liked to read more—and I mean both positively and negatively. Yes, you left me hungry for more; but yes, you left me hungry.[/color][/font]
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(0,128,0);]Beautiful as it was, there’s nothing to sink my teeth into. It wasn’t filling. It consists chiefly of descriptions, abstract ideas and not much else. You set the scene, you present your character, and then—what? The second scene was vague. Ozymandias did something—what? Kovacs and Dreiberg—who are they? Suddenly I don’t know what’s going on, and I can’t possibly guess. It gives me the feeling that I’m missing something the writer’s not telling me, which can be bothersome.Now, I think vagueness was your intention. I can understand leaving the story open to the mind of the reader. (Pulling names out of thin air is a bad way of doing this, but anyway—) But that’s a risky business. It could make your reader think or yawn, it all depends on how you control their mind with your writing.Now, here’s an interesting point. At first, I wanted to know what Ozymandias did to “conquer the evils that beset man.” What did he do? What was his solution to prevent the supposed atomic armageddon? As a critic, I was thinking, “These questions should be answer.” But then I looked as a reader, and I said, “I don’t really care. It’s good enough.” And then I was content. So you contented the reader, but here’s the thing. The reader wasn’t elated, he was just contented, because he “didn’t really care.” See what I’m saying?That can be the problem with this sort of vagueness. I’ll grant you, it is an achievement just to palliate the reader, but far better to stick your neck out and elate them. Personally, from the standpoint of a critic and a writer, when dealing with abstract ideas I try to make them tangible and practical; otherwise I’m just playing with fancies that will mean nothing to the reader. What would have made this story stand out was giving it an original twist.Instead, you told nothing new. In your elegant style, yes, in a philosophical strain, yes, you told a hackneyed story without adding anything to the plot. I could rewrite Jane and Dick into a novel with melodic prose and beautiful descriptions, but unless I add to the plot it’s going to be a bomb.(Oh, notice what I did there? I made an abstract idea better by grounding it—in this case, with an example. Just putting that in there.)So, in the end? Reader Nuile is satisfied and content. Critic Nuile says Good job, it’s a nice piece but insubstantial. All things considered this was an enjoyable meal, if not a filling and memorable one. Thank you for writing, sharing, and for choosing the SSCC![/color][/font]
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(0,128,0);]Keep writing,[/color][/font]
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(0,128,0);]Sincerely, Nuile: Lunatic Wordsmith [/color][/font]
When I know I can't live without a pen and paper, when I know writing is as necessary to me as breathing . . .
I know I am ready to start my voyage.
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