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Thread: Iron Quill submission: Shiver
07-24-2012, 05:07 PM #11
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- Sep 2009
- Land of the leprecons
Thanked 57 Times in 45 Posts
Interesting idea of a dream, very good workOur's
07-24-2012, 09:04 PM #12
Thanks for the read.
07-29-2012, 07:08 PM #13
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- Apr 2010
- Not in Edinburgh Zoo
Thanked 121 Times in 75 Posts
In the interest of fairness, I will post my immediate thoughts then reread this sometime before deadline.
Short of it; I found this very, very difficult to follow.
I liked the start with the exception of two main things. "the manor is dark and sleeping beneath a December sky" didn't sound right to me. Perhaps "the manor is dark, sleeping beneath a December sky." Also the way you introduce him like he's entering the house makes it odd when he sees the front door.
But that's only the beginning.
I would say there are two main issues. One is the same old issue you struggle with and that is going over the edge with your language. It's clearly part of your style, but the line is still there and you cross it too many times in this piece for my personal liking.
The other issue, which if I remember correctly was a much smaller issue in your last piece, is transitions. There's almost none here. It makes sense to do so since this is a dream that folds in on itself and blends and bleeds together, but because of the exaggarated language there is next to no sign posts or clue as to what some things even are (the "characters" especially).
As much as I enjoyed the premise and some of the tone, the language made the middle section near indecipherable to myself and my attention started to drift away from the page.
But like I said, I'll read it again and see if it makes more sense. I usually find even strong criticisms can fade away after a second read =]
On a more positive note, that's me read and criticised all the entries. Now it's time for me to finally write up my own piece and get a taste of my own medicine =] Though by "now" I mean tomorrow, after I watch The Dark Knight Rises.
Last edited by ThePandaDirector; 07-29-2012 at 07:11 PM.*** Weird Journal: Wyrd Miniatures Fanzine *** "The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function."
07-29-2012, 11:20 PM #14
I'll take another look at the piece hopefully soon. Question Panda, did you find it difficult because of the way it was written, which is an intentional disjointed nightmare. Nothing is linear in a dream, it just happens and it makes sense to the person experiencing it.
But I always appreciate your critique and I'll see what I can to with it when time permits.
07-30-2012, 12:48 AM #15
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- Aug 2011
Thanked 13 Times in 13 Posts
My knee-jerk reaction is that this is a very intense story. Not necessarily in its plot -- there really isn't one -- but as a sensory experience. I'll agree that your language sometimes teeters at the edge of excess, although I am always willing to grant exceptions if the language is evocative. The scene with Dolan at the bar felt right out of Stephen King's The Shining, decomposing face and all. On an image-by-image basis, this felt strong and imaginative. I also liked the more sinister and cunning edge you gave Lord Chompy Bits; it felt more like he was using the Dreamer, instead of being trapped in a symbiotic relationship, and that helped to give the ending more of a nightmare feel (har har).
On the other hand, because this was a story all about image and sense, it was easy to get lost. I realize this is a piece that deals in dream logic, but a story is necessarily a construction, and I think a bit less of the dream and a bit more of the underlying facts behind the dream would be appreciated. Was this a story about the Dreamer's father? Or was the cure mentioned applied to the Dreamer? With so much time spent in (and on) the house, I expected a more concrete explanation as to why it burned down. In short, I wanted a pay-off, and I'm not sure that I got it. I think some exposition added to the barrister scene, which is when the scales are supposed to fall away and the truth is exposed, would help to clarify things.
Mechanically, this looked more or less clean. There were some punctuation marks missing ("William, shut the door, please!" etc.), dialogue attribution should always use lower-case rather than upper, even if the dialogue in question is a complete sentence ("Your sister is going to crawl right out!" he shouted.), and there was a bit where you used "ridged" when you clearly meant "rigid," but overall it looked pretty good. A slow, careful read-through will catch most of this stuff.
07-30-2012, 07:08 AM #16
thanks for the feedback el indido. gives me good stuff to consider.
08-03-2012, 09:19 PM #17
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- Jul 2010
- Manchester or Harrogate...
Thanked 64 Times in 46 Posts
Wow, that was eerie. Really creepy. Awesome work
08-04-2012, 02:54 AM #18
Hmmm... I'm on the same page as Panda right now. I completely understand what you where going for, but at the same time it was difficult to enjoy or follow the important elements of the story. I know there is some kind of background/plot that you are trying to tell with this dream (something about a lost child and a cure?), but I only got a small fragment of the whole. I congratulate you on the style you tried and the overall atmosphere (love atmosphere - its why I read Lovecraft), but I'm not sure I can say I enjoyed it. It may just be not to my taste. I'll have to read it again though to give it a fair shake. Thanks for the story!
08-04-2012, 03:03 PM #19
So its about evenly split with people that liked or didn't like the layout of the story. Which Is fine, at least its getting attention.
For me, this IS what a dream/nightmare is. Any linear storytelling of a dream sequence is artificially done for the sake of conveying a story. In dreams, things happen withing cause, scenes make sense to the viewer in a way that would be disjointing and obscure to anyone else. A dream world works on an entirely different type of logic and physics.
As far as wondering what the dream is about and wanting more information, I mean, I could have come right and said that basically the story was about the Man in Black and frenchmen and a deal brokered by the Barrister. And that the Dreamer is the son of the man in black. But telling a tale like that for one, wouldn't fit in 1500 words. And for two, no dream moves through events like that. The person experiencing the dreams lives in an emotion that born out of scenery and metaphor.
So I'd say i'm very happy with piece because its a concept piece in the end. Given 1500 words its hard to do any character justice but 1500 words is a wealth of time to convey the emotion of fear merely through images. Short stories ultimately don't get by with a wealth of background information and detailed setup. They are stories of the moment and how deeply can you experience that moment with a character. This is just a short story about a terrfying nightmare forced on someone. Fragments of a larger story are there but again, 1500 words only allows for a story to be about so much. So its not about the cure, or the frenchmen or the barrister. Its just about a dream and how terrible the dream is for the man in black. Everything else serves only one purpose and its to add disjointed evocative details.
Thanks for all the feedback though. And thanks for everyone who read it.
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