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Rainbow town and Jesus land

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I deem short stories like this to be the most difficult pieces for an author to write, especially one so young. I think it is wonderful that the Dude chose to post this work and give us a glimpse of a new author, even if the story is but a diamond in the rough.

Richard Brown seems to have poured his heart out on the page and gives the reader much to think about. If this is a first effort then he has done well to present characters in conflict and give us an intense story line that ends too soon. Much of the discussion among AD authors is about what keeps the readers focus and I think Richard has done a good job there.

The story begins and ends with violent thoughts, and yet I feel there may be more truth in Richard's prose than fiction, and that would be unfortunate. But authors who write about the world around them leave their characters well grounded and believeable. The story ends abruptly, as if Richard was shutting off the thoughts that possessed him to write in the first place.

I would hope we all reach out and encourage Richard to write more stories. He needs the chance to expand his thoughts beyond the short story category. Given time, and a good editor, I can see Richard developing his writing skills and using the stories as an outlet for his emotions.

Rainbow town and Jesus land is an interesting choice for a title, although the story did not give us much of a chance to understand why he named in this fashion. If this was submitted for a school competition then I think that took some courage considering the subject matter. I would like to see more from this young man. Thank you, Richard.

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The story is on the AwesomeDude home page.

I'd suggest this thread belongs in Readers Rule instead of the Writer's Workshop.

This short story shows good potential and I'd like to see more stories from him. The story ends before we find out what happens, which leaves the reader wanting more, or leaves the reader to come up with his own ending to the story. The story kept my interest. He can tell a story, and has talent, and that is something not everyone can do. Write more stories! :)

There were a few flubs in the editing, but since the story was a contest submission and done for a grade, the copy stands as is. As an editor, my advice to a writer would be to let a near-final draft sit for a day or two, then go through the draft and revise, when possible, to catch anything you missed. Sometimes, that's not possible when you're on deadline, I realize. I'm not an English teacher, I'm an editor, sort of an English teacher gone horribly wrong. :) So I'm not sure how it would be graded, and since I'm not a teacher, that isn't the point. Yes, it could've used a little editing for mechanics, but the storytelling is good stuff. That's what matters more outside the classroom. Editors do look for skills in the mechanics (grammar, punctuation, etc.) side of it, so that can affect a submission's acceptance a bit. But editors look more for the storytelling. Does it grab my attention and keep me reading?

Again as an editor, I noticed he has a tendency for longer, complex sentences, not quite run-ons. I can hardly criticize too much, since I have the same tendency. But shorter sentences could cover the same complex thoughts in a way that readers can follow easier. Then again, (1) maybe this isn't as big a problem for others as I claim, and besides, (2) I should really follow my own advice, since I do the same thing a lot.

I think the title was both a little showmanship and enthusiasm to pull in and challenge or dare the reader, and a statement of, OK, if people are going to yell about the gay thing, then let 'em yell, 'cause here it is, here I am. A little activism and pride, a little bravado in the face of adversity. The title could make a potential reader either roll his eyes and move on, or it might make the reader curious enough to see what the fuss is about. I'll admit I did a little of both. I didn't read it until Chris James' post. -- But I would note, I'm still not back to my usual reading habits. I'm still "off my feed," so to speak. But I'm getting back to it.

Hmm, about the story content? There are all too many cases where there's an abusive or alcoholic parent, intolerant parents and siblings, trouble at school, in town, at church, at work, and so on. That includes verbal and physical violence or threats. One or another of those, most of us have to deal with from time to time, or regularly, at some point in life, and it's not limited to being gay, either. (Yeah, see? Long, complex sentences. Richard can snicker, it's OK.)

How much of that is truth and how much is made up; how much is from his experience or people he knows; are up to him as the writer. A talented writer can write a story, fiction, that is believable and engaging, without having experienced it all and without being like that...or else you'd really have to wonder about all those mystery, thriller, detective, and horror writers, not to mention the science fiction and fantasy writers. Heheh. -- I'm saying, whatever element of truth drawn from life there is to the story, only he knows, but it shows he's a talented new writer, to get it across where we can see the truth in the storytelling.

There is room for, and a need for, both stories that tell the unpleasant parts of life, and the ones that are more sunny and optimistic. Sometimes, you have to insist people pay attention, to get change. (Change? Go for the big bucks! Oh, sorry, wrong kind of change, there.... OK, yes, diversionary joking, minus 5 to the guy with the editor's hat.)

This kept me reading. It's a good start. With some more story writing, he will improve his storytelling skills, style presentation per story, and the details of mechanics (grammar, punctuation, spelling). -- Do NOT take that as negatives, please. Even writers with multiple award winning books work to make their stuff perfect, and get aggravated with themselves when something doesn't quite hit the mark the way they wanted. There wouldn't be editors if people didn't need an extra hand to help that along.

Yes, I'd like to see more stories (and perhaps poems) from him. Good going. And welcome!

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