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Trab

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I was totally curious about Another Dormitory Incident, and I was pleasantly surprised. It was well worth the read, although it was disappointingly short. I'm not in any position to complain though, since Flash Fiction seems too long when I try to write for myself. :icon13:

Superhero, however, seemed like a rather mediocre title to me, but, since the author is known to write good stuff, I started in. OMG. OMG. I'll just say no more. Don't walk, run to read it.

The two together made an excellent small and delectable dessert for me. Well done, Bruin Fisher and Graeme. It's always a pleasure to read your material.

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Superhero, however, seemed like a rather mediocre title to me, but, since the author is known to write good stuff, I started in. OMG. OMG. I'll just say no more. Don't walk, run to read it.

Thanks, Trab!

I've been getting very mixed feedback on this short story. I'm not bothered by that, but it's intriguing the difference seems to be based on how people interpret the story. I had the same mixed reaction from the people who read it prior to it being edited, too.

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Yeah. Superhero is really super. It's one of those stories that had me saying "wow!" after reading the last word.

I can't make up my mind about the protagonist though. I suspect I never will, unless Graeme himself tells us what he thinks of the character. If by mixed, Graeme, you mean that the readers felt the character was either insane or a real "superhero", then add me to the fence straddlers group. What's even more great about the story is that it was narrated so casually, and the effect was really great.

I'll post again after reading Bruin's.

:)

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Yes, thanks Trab for your kind comments on my story.

I'm one of Graeme's legion of fans so unsurprisingly I loved 'Superhero' and read it over again. It's beautifully written like all his stuff, and the narration style lulls you into complacency just in time to pull the rug out from under your feet at the end and land you on your nose in the dirt. It's not, the way I read it, a 'comfortable' story, and you have to pick yourself up and dust yourself off at the end, but a powerful and involving read. Strongly recommended.

Bruin

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Oh sure. I say it was too short, and...nothing. Cole says he'd like another, and...there it is, on its way.

:rolleyes:

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Oh sure. I say it was too short, and...nothing. Cole says he'd like another, and...there it is, on its way.

So sorry, Trabbie dearest! I never intended to hurt your feelings. But you must understand I can't change my story and make it longer - it is what it is - but I can easy write another. So I can satisfy Cole but I can't satisfy you. Story of my life, really...

Bruin

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Jesus, that Superhero is a wild F-in' story. I dunno, though -- the ending kinda came out of left field. To me, this is too much like a "and then they got hit by a bus" kind of thing. I prefer more of a build-up, more foreshadowing, and more logic. (That's unless you go for the theory that the lead character is insane, which actually works.)

But it's a great concept. I liked the first 2/3 very much, and there's no question that Graeme's a talented writer.

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(That's unless you go for the theory that the lead character is insane, which actually works.)

Give me a reason, from the story, to believe he's sane :bunny: I wrote it so it's ambiguous, but to me the scales are definitely tilted towards him being insane. He's too inconsistent with his statements to be otherwise. Don't forget that at the start of the story he remarks that the party was nothing memorable, but later events show otherwise. Greg's comments about what happened afterwards, in particular, certainly have to contradict the idea that it was just another party. I chose to write this in 1st person deliberately, because I don't believe it would have worked as well in third person.

Otherwise, you're right. If he's sane, the ending is pretty poor. There's no foreshadowing to give a clue as to what happened.

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My interpretation of the Superhero's problem was that what happened at the party screwed him up so badly he couldn't remember what took place. I didn't have much feel for him before the party, but for his character and personality afterwards, thought he'd been seriously discombobulated. I didn't really think he was insane, simply deleteriously affected mentally by the events at the party. That was the way I read him.

C

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Ah, good. I feel better, Graeme. If that was your intention, then the story works fine.

My only suggestion would be to drive home the idea that the narrator is insane. There's a principle in 1st person POV -- "unreliable narrator" -- where you can't necessarily believe what the narrator says. Once you start thinking the guy's nuts, then the reader will go, "now, wait a minute... does this mean..." and starts a lot of uncertainty.

If nothing else, wind up with the kid behind bars, or in a padded cell. If he still believes he has superpowers (or at least ESP), maybe he can read the mind of the doctors examining him. Hell, I'd make him insane and have ESP. But the uncertainty factor always makes me feel a little unsatisfied, at least in fiction.

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Thanks, Pecman!

I had considered one more line at the ending, indicating that the above document was from a psychiatric assessment, but I left it off. I wanted the reader to wonder if he was insane or not, but it is obvious that I didn't quite deliver on that goal. Too many people have been reading the story literally.

I'll keep that in mind for next time -- if I try to do another "unreliable narrator" type story.

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*

Maybe the following is a bit of a spoiler, so please read the story first.

Yes, well as I said to Graeme in my email to him, Superhero reminds of a Stephen King type of story.

I like the ambiguity very much, because there are sufficient solid clues for interpretations.

I also thought of Carrie, the girl with the paranormal powers.

Unlike Carrie though, Neil is very definitely subject to his own opinions of what he thinks is his power, and therefore the power may not be real.

The stark horror of the ending is either an eruption of insanity or an act of a superhero.

Altogether the suspense and dramatic action, is for me, outstandingly well executed, (so to speak.) :bunny:

I can actually see the final scenes in my mind as if I was there.

I can almost hear their voices in my head... :lol::wacko:

well done Graeme.

And Cole, Trab made me laugh out loud too. :hehe:

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I had considered one more line at the ending, indicating that the above document was from a psychiatric assessment, but I left it off.

You know, I kind of like that idea. End it with a doctor's memo, saying, "the preceding was from an interview with patient #123-XYZ, who is current incarcerated in the Sydney Facility for the Criminally Insane." Etc.

I remember reading an interview with Stephen King once where he said he was very unsatisfied with his first (published) novel, Carrie, until he hit on the gimmick of interrupting the story every so often with legal documents, press releases, government reports, and so on, all referring to "The Carrie White Incident." This really built up suspense and made you wonder, "what the hell is going to happen here?" I think this would work in a similar way for a short story like this with a shocking finale.

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I have a personal fondness of British schoolboy stories, and Bruin does them so very well! I loved this one. Wish he'd write more!

C

(I've always wanted to be able to write this:) By special request I am pleased to announce the release of another Boarding School story: The Dance. Dedicated to Cole, who as good as asked for it. I've submitted it to his Dudeness so look for it popping up on the site in due course.

Bruin

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I join others in saying, "Yaaaahhhoooooo!"

As for bigger and longer, don't get upset, Bruin. Trab's always asking for that.

C

PS- I don't remember anything being dedicated to me before. Oh, wait, I think there was a spanking my father so dedicated a century ago, but this is probably going to be different. I'm probably going to LIKE this one.

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