Jump to content


Recommended Posts

Are you looking for feedback on this? I know I've read it somewhere else, some weeks ago.

The glaring contradiction in the first paragraph is disturbing to me. "I had no choice..." and "My other option was..."

The whole thing doesn't strike me so much as a literary work, but as a rambling of thoughts and feelings told in a sort of reminescing style. There are awkward phrasings, but it feels kinda 'chummy'. :)

Link to comment

I need to read this carefully at a later date, but I've got two comments to make on the presentation:

1. The blue on black/grey background is hard on the eyes. I highlighted the post to make it blue on white before I could comfortably read it.

2. The lack of break between paragraphs also made it harder to read. If you don't use a break, try to indent the first line (which I don't think you can do in the forum, so it may be a posting issue that you can't control).

They aren't major things, but it can be the difference between someone reading it, and someone deciding it looks too much like hard work and moving on.

Just my opinion, of course

Graeme :icon10:

Link to comment

I must have been imagining the blue.... :icon10:

Okay, onto some comments.

The short story has a lot of potential as a commentary on families. You've got the narrator and Taylor (gay couple), the grandparents (divorced/separated couple, with the complications that caused, and also how the nature of the two was more complex than a simple picture could portray), and James (part of the extended family). That may not be the theme you intended, but that was the impression I got.

The narrator's dad is mention, but there's nothing about his mum. Since almost every other part of the extended family was mentioned, that stood out to me. There's one mention of his stepmom, but that appears to be the only reference that she exists.

There's some great imagery in the story:

The magical shell of an abalone was a story in of itself. I could look at the rainbow color of the reflective silver lining and get lost in a tale that I didn?t have to hear. It was as if that shell served as a diary for the tender, tasty muscle. Looking at it, I imagined it floating through the murky waters of the Pacific, looking for a rock to latch onto and call home. That is, until someone like me came along to pry it away from its home, placing it in a large potato sack to be prepared in a deep fryer or stew.

A beautiful description... and then he eats it. Nicely done.

The main "complaint" is that it didn't flow smoothly, and it didn't wrap up neatly.

It was more a collection of memories, rather than a meander. A meander would lead from one point to the next and the reader would just follow. There's some attempts to do so, but it didn't come over well. The ending also only really focused on Taylor, and didn't flow from the previous paragraphs.

As a suggestion only, if the following paragraph was near the end, rather than the beginning, it would help summarise the previous memories and lead into the ending you've presented.

Our vacation had been planned out well and executed almost flawlessly. The only drawback to a fun vacation is that it has to end. When you?re visiting family, it?s even harder to leave. I got to see people that I hadn?t seen in a long time, people I loved. I use to take their presence for granted when I was a little boy. I even resented it if I saw too much of them. They had a tendency to be bossy, at least in my opinion, and I was selfishly happy when they went home. Now I was sorry to be leaving them behind again, and I wondered to myself when I?d get to see them all again, and what the circumstances might be that would bring us together.
Link to comment

Thanks for the feedback guys...i will say one thing about this comment

It was more a collection of memories, rather than a meander. A meander would lead from one point to the next and the reader would just follow

I really meant for it to be that way. That's why I called it Recollections :icon1: But I know what you mean and that's why I came here for help with it. I'd never try to post it anywhere but in a forum like this one or in my own forum at GA, but I'm glad I put it here because I got the honest criticism I wanted. Not that I don't get lots of critisism already...:icon1:....um, wait, that didn't come out right. :icon3:

Link to comment

I haven't tried doing this before, adding useful criticism to a story fragment. I can see it's difficult. Its so easy to find things to be discouraging about, and that isn't only not what I want to do, it's also destructive. So the first thing I want to emphasize is that I see a lot of promise here, and lot of ability, a lot of reason to keep working on this. The things I say below are just my opinions and are meant to help make the story better, and to give you something to think about, not in any way to upset or discourage you.

I would like this story to be less of a ramble. When I read a story, it's more comfortable if there are anchors in it I can hold on to, anchors like where we are, when we're there, who we are. With this story, it sort of moves all over the place, and I'm not sure where I am, or why, or what's important, so I have a discomfort right from the beginning. It's not a huge or unmanageable discomfort, not a reason to stop reading, but it exists, and it's easier to enjoy something if you're not feeling uncomfortable. Part of this feeing that the story is a little out of control is your verb usage. You change tenses a lot, and doing so makes the reader uncertain just where he is, what time frame he's reading in, what came earlier and what later.

I got to wondering about why you'd say "my dad" and follow that up almost immediatey with "my Grandfather." Seniority doesn't change the capitalization.

I like your imagination; all the memory fragments are interesting. You have some good insights and you use emotion well to make your characters compelling. I do have an innate feeling, however, that if the whole were centered a little differently, grounded perhaps, if I had a little better feel while reading it of where we are, how the chonology works, if it didnt just drift around like a helium-filled balloon that had escaped its owner, I could follow it better and have more of a sense of knowing where we were headed, both of which would make reading it more enjoyable.

I think you have great promise here. I also think you need to do a little more work, think about exactly what you want to accomplish and perhaps restructure it somewhat to better achieve that. This of course is must one man's opinion, and your story to do with as you wish. I think it can be great.


Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...