In the Mourning
Posted Oct 05 2012 - 03:25 PM
Posted Oct 05 2012 - 08:51 PM
The final, polished edition of my contribution to BZP Comedies, right here.
Posted Oct 05 2012 - 08:55 PM
There are no others; this is a story set on its own. Also, I've always had a romantic side, I must admit. >.> Ssssh, it's a secret to everybody.Also I enjoy writing stories like this one, assuming I have succeeded in making most readers feel that way after reading.-ibrow
So sad... :(AND YET SO GOOD!Great job, ibrow. I didn't think you had a romantic side...but, there you go. This deserves , for sure.Although I haven't read the others...might want to do that nex.~MN~
Posted Oct 05 2012 - 08:58 PM
I think that he meant he should read the other entries to the contest.There are no others; this is a story set on its own.
Although I haven't read the others...might want to do that nex.
My experience with graffiti was critical to my success in creating an army of murderous seagulls.
Posted Oct 06 2012 - 09:00 AM
...good point >.>Glad you enjoyed the story - I'm glad the emotional message got across, and I'm also glad you liked the reveal of the main character. I like writing stories like that.-ibrow
Very nice emotional story. Interesting idea, including Hewkii as the protagonist, though we don't find out immediately, which is another aspect that I like. All in all, nice writing, ibrow.I think that he meant he should read the other entries to the contest.There are no others; this is a story set on its own.
Although I haven't read the others...might want to do that nex.
Posted Oct 08 2012 - 10:22 PM
I think if this sentence were connected to the previous one in some way, starting the way you did would make sense. Because it isn't connected, I would recommend changing it to "He was leaning back" and go from there.
Him leaning back, supported by his arms, her lying on top of him, her head twisted so that she too could see the stars.
And here I encountered the issue of creating a cliché by intentionally trying to avoid one. I would say to remove it and have it replaced, honestly. We'll talk dialogue in depth later.
“Comparing you to the stars would be cliché. You’re worth so much more than that, and the stars have nothing on you to boot.”
Missing an ending quotation mark - easy fix.
“Do I sparkle, brighter than the stars and the sun?
This felt abrupt…too abrupt, even for flash fiction. The solution would be in a more proper description of the situation. You tell me she was gone, and give me further clichéd detail of how your main character reacts, but that isn't enough. This felt like an omelet without salt or pepper (you're probably wondering "how many food references is he going to make?" by this point) - it needs more sensory detail, a deeper look at how his entire world feels. I don't just want to see the world through his eyes, I want it through his audio receptors, through his hands, so that it feels like a complete moment, or flavor, if you will.
She was gone, not a trace to be found. He scrambled onto his knees, his desperate gaze searching all over the hill for a friend that was more than just a friend, but a search he knew must be doomed to failure. She was gone.
This passage sounds rather awkward to me. Writing it as "now adorned with the statue of a Tahtorak a powerful Toa had defeated long ago" seems to flow better.With the grammatical addressed, time to dig in (there I go again) to your actual plot. The setting is a nice, calm evening when suddenly, disaster strikes. Does the reader ever learn why the Red Star zapped Macku away? No. Should the reader need to know? Absolutely not. This story isn't about why Macku vanishes, it's about the fact that she does vanish. I mean, sure, your ending is slightly ruined by the recent Red Star news over in S&T (not sure how close you follow canon news like that, but suffice to say, the information certainly downplays the event quite a bit), however, it plays all the importance for your main character. Also, having glanced at the comments for this flash fic, I'm not sure if you wanted the lead's reveal as Hewkii to be a shocker, because as soon as I saw the name Macku, I immediately assumed the other character to be Hewkii. That's one of those relationships that keeps coming up among Bionicle fanfiction writers, so I can't really be held too responsible there. I recognize you wanted to tell some kind of romance story (I think?), but this falls short. I'll come back to wrap up the second half of your plot, because for now, I want to explore your characters and their dialogue. A romance lives and dies in characters and their words…it's all they have, ultimately. So let's see why the ideal didn't turn out to be reality.Hewkii and Macku. The canon has certainly given us enough to work with in terms of their characterization. Being flash fiction, I can't hassle you too much for not taking full advantage of that. But I want to hassle you for a moment, because this didn't feel like Hewkii and Macku at all. Romance is a genre that is easy to create clichés in, to let characters fall into certain roles and let them play out the way they might in a book, a play, a movie, etc. Those outlets further reinforce a narrow spectrum of what romance can be, and how it can be portrayed. That definitely took center stage on this one, allowing what was a pivotal part of the story turn into a discussion the likes of which often appear in made-for-tv films. So if we're going to push canon aside, if you're going to tell me Macku was "more than just a friend," then I want you to deliver. Don't force feed the audience a played out chat, read your dialogue back to yourself, and consider how it feels to you. If you can't feel your words, the audience can't. A writer's work is like a heater, and you're sitting right next to it. The audience is a distance away, and unless you crank the heat, the reader won't be able to feel it. I hope that makes sense. Regarding romance, write dialogue as though you were speaking to your own love, with the jovial passion of a person who cannot live the same without that other person. Make me believe that Hewkii and Macku share a special love, not because you give them a few cheesy lines, but because you pull from yourself everything you know about love, every loving relationship you have ever known romantically or otherwise, and let it shine and reflect in what you write. Writers should come with a warning sign that reads "Anything you say can and may be used in my work," because we have the opportunity to draw from everyone and everything and turn it into stories. In short, art imitates life, and if you want your written artistry to feel alive, it needs a stronger dose of reality than you provided to make that happen.Into the second half of your story, I think it's fair to say that things improve. Hewkii's words remain as cliché as they were in his youth, but this is the delivery I was waiting for, like when a pizza finally shows up at my door. I'll promise you that's my last food reference because you're really going to want to listen to this next bit. In the second act, you gave me an aged Hewkii, marked by a life that had to endure losing Macku. The scene displays Hewkii's strength, like that (symbolically) of a stone. He did not end his life to join her when he fell into despair, he did not lose his sanity when mourning was all he knew, he remained. You gave me a glimpse into the final moments of a Hewkii that chose to simply remain, to dignifiedly suffer the burden of loss and live out his days until his heartlight could no longer support his decision. Despite the hardship, despite how he must have grieved, Hewkii is remembered as a Toa worthy of commemoration, noble to the end. I found what I believe to be an unintended commentary that even heroes know anguish at times and that they are as mortal as the rest of us. And yet we honor them for brave action or courage in the face of insurmountable odds as though they were more than mortal, more than some of us could ever dare to be. Within the aforementioned provision of canon we have to work with, Hewkii may possess all of these strengths, because he has dimensionality if we allow him to have it. Whether canon or not, don't sell your characters short. Let them know adversity and misery. Let them know anger and resentment. Let them laugh and love. Most importantly, let them live and breathe.I've been told to never go to shopping at the supermarket when I'm hungry. There were some good examples of why not to review something when I'm hungry sprinkled through this critique. And while you may find them distracting or annoying, I like my reviews to feel natural, to let the ideas come and the words flow, much like my writing at times. On the flipside of my earlier statement, sometimes life imitates art. More to the point, I want to remind you that much of my criticism could be applied to larger short stories (and epics as well) in terms of description, characterization, and dialogue. I would recommend keeping my advice near the forefront of your mind next time you're writing (whether on BZP or elsewhere), though that's the typical bias of a critic talking. While we can't demand a writer hear us out, we would hope those who make a request from us choose to keep an open mind about our suggestions. Obviously, after everything I've said, it should come as no surprise that I wasn't too impressed with much of this story, though the second act came with more reward than the first. I'm sure you know that writing improvement is not an overnight process, so take some time to focus on your "weak areas." I understand that you're an Ambage member now, so it would be wise to utilize that group as an outlet for your writing improvement. Best of luck.-Ced
now adorned with a statue of a Tahtorak that a powerful Toa had defeated long ago.
Posted Oct 09 2012 - 10:12 AM
Edited by Quote (Mr. Traveler), Oct 09 2012 - 10:13 AM.
Posted Oct 09 2012 - 06:59 PM
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