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  • #3486
    Helen
    Participant

    I’ve been looking for a site like this where I can get feedback on my writing but didn’t think I’d be first to go. Anyway, here is a short story I wrote last summer. I entered it for a few competitions but didn’t get anywhere. Maybe because it’s no good!
    I’d like some honest opinions on its merits (or otherwise).
    Please be gentle!

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    #3493
    orcus
    Participant

    I really liked your story Helen – quirky and unusual. I felt that you really gave the narrator a voice. There were bits I felt didn’t work quite as well such as the fast-food ‘drive-thru’ scene. It seemed to be something that maybe you had in your head and wanted to use but I don’t think it suited the flow of the narrative. I’ve often put in a scene or a bit of dialogue that I liked on its own but felt it was like a square in a round hole when I put it in the story.
    I had to laugh at some parts because, seen through the eyes of your main character, it exposes how ridiculous are our notions of ‘normal’. In fact, that core theme is examined with humour and wisdom thanks to the particular and peculiar qualities you gave the narrator. One other thing I noticed was that we never get to know his full name. I think Mr Dalton is used once. I don’t know if that was intentional not to use his first name.
    I felt you also tied things up nicely at the end. I hate trying to write endings. Endings and titles are my biggest bug-bear. Anyway, I think you should resubmit it somewhere because it deserves a wider audience.

    #3494
    Helen
    Participant

    Thanks Orcus, your review has really made my day! You’re right about that scene but I’m not sure whether just to cut it or replace it with something. And I actually forgot to include his first name at some point. What a nitwit! It’s funny how you can pore over your words for hours and miss completely obvious things.
    When I’ve tiddled it up a bit I’m going to submit it again. I’ve found some new competitions that I’m going to post on the other thread later. Watch this space!

    #3518
    Kit-Kat
    Participant

    Hi Helen, I liked Spectrum too. I hope you find a home for it.

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by Kit-Kat.
    #3645
    Colliewobble
    Participant

    Hi Helen,

    After learning about your reading interests I was keen to see your writing. It definitely kept me interested and struck a nerve. I work with some autistic children and can see them in your writing. It may not be that obvious to people who aren’t familiar with the condition as they read. I’m a big fan of society changing to encompass a neurodiverse world, where everyone is valued, however their brain may work!

    The literal way words are interpreted (e.g. ‘You’re Grandad’s gone. To a better place.’) is essential in understanding how a neurodiverse mind works. It’s also essential in ensuring we communicate meaningfully and well with neurodiverse individuals. Otherwise, what a confusing world to live in! You laugh on the other side of your face? You blew me away? What can those statements possible mean?

    Well done for introducing us to the mind of another! At the risk of making you spend again, have you read ‘A Kind Of Spark’ by Elle McNicholl? A story written about an autistic girl who champions the plight of women condemned as witches, hundreds of years ago in the hometown in which she lives. Fascinating read!

    #3646
    Colliewobble
    Participant

    So, this is my first too! I entered it into a competition but not expecting anything. Just enjoyed the challenge. The only information given was that the theme should be ‘A Christmas Like No Other’ and the genre was historical. I’ve had no feedback as I’m not on Facebook (which is where the competitors give feedback) and would appreciate something honest. Many thanks.

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    #3650
    HarryStotle
    Participant

    Hi CW. I think that you have captured the feel of the 19th century novel perfectly in that story yet established your own style in the telling. It is engaging and full of empathy. You give a strong sense of place without it over-shadowing a strong central character. I love your prose. It really carries the story forward and I feel it is a strong enough ‘engine’ to take this story into a novel-length narrative.

    SEMI-SPOILER ALERT: You avoided the rescue of our hero at the end. Why? Too obvious? I think we wanted that and for that character to go on to better things. But your alternative was an excellent twist. Or should that be ‘Twist’?

    I don’t know what you plan to do with the story but thanks for sharing.

    #3653
    Colliewobble
    Participant

    Hi Harry.

    Thank you for the feedback, it’s much appreciated! I was limited by word length, the competition I entered stated 2000 words or less and it’s exactly 2000. As I got carried away initially, thought I’d leave the reader to decide. I really wanted a rescue, but yes, perhaps too obvious. The plan was for the Doctor to take them in (child and mutt), as he’d already been feeding the dog and established a relationship. No room at the Inn though!

    It’s nice to know there are still people out there who like a happy ending! With a Twist!

    #3699
    FreddieR
    Participant

    Just read your story and really enjoyed it. You create a lovely atmosphere and you feel a real connection between the central character and the reader. Would love to see a ‘chapter 2’ – but maybe it’s best to leave that to the reader’s imagination…

    #3701
    Colliewobble
    Participant

    Thank you for the feedback Freddie. Much appreciated. It was only ever meant to be a short story, but I might rethink that. Glad you enjoyed it.

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