Discussion in 'Reader's Corner' started by afgpride, Feb 10, 2018.
Deadline is Monday.
Anyone may critique, whether or not they have an entry.
alright, i don't know how i ended up reading all the entires and my reviews won't be in-depth at all, so feel free to discard:
1. subaraishii: you get an e for effort. nah, not even that. you get a p for posting. 1/10
2. boskov: i liked this a lot more than your usual pieces, and it was probably my favourite of the bunch. 9/10
3. shit: good read. why am i thinking about sage mode? the last sentence was awkwardly phrased to me. i might have said "Forcing his aching bones to carry him onto his feet, he stepped forward and stumbled into the darkness". 7.5/10
4. afg: this was the first entry i read, and it made me curious enough to read the others 8/10
5. ava- hmm, i felt you could have done more with it but that's probably because you were rushing. 6/10
Not going to do every rating at once, I'll just keep editing this post with a new rating until I'm done. Deal with it.
Interesting concept, you choose to write your flash fiction from the perspective of Avalon visiting the Cafe convo so that caught my eye instantly since I love reading about myself. The tale begins with Avalon visiting the Cafe and learning stories about the famous degenerates that have emerged from that cesspool. I have no idea what the Jamilia part is referring to and I'm not a fat, white feminist so I definitely don't use tumblr so I don't know where you're going with this. Sentient banana refers to Mider and Casterly Rock and i*c*st jokes are referring to my love of House Lannister (and hopefully you're not actually making that joke about me and my actual brothers).
Overall, it gave me a laugh so you get a 2/10.
@Subarashii This isn't fiction. You don't have characters. The setting is ambiguous, and you gave it no detail. Your jokes are mean spirited and are about people I don't know, but I can tell they wouldn't be funny anyway. Please don't enter this contest like this again. Thank you very much.
@mass of the fermenting drews This is very vivid but hard to follow. I had to read it twice just to get a sense of what I was reading without getting lost, but I think that's just because the scenery is so bizarre. You focus a lot on little details, but I think it'd help if you paid more words to what the place looks like as a whole, like are they in a building or alleyway or what. I'm not sure I really followed the action precisely, though again the weirdness is throwing me off. I think the man in the coat was looking for working technology in the slums of the lower world, but I really am not sure what was in the box the girl had. Personally I like it better when I'm not struggling so much to keep up, but the descriptions were indeed superb.
@afgpride This is a very busy story, which is good. You packed a lot of action in the word limit. I followed things well, and although details were sparse, I did get a good feel of the main character. This is a very POV-centric story. It's not about the dactylon's fear of thunder but the MC's perception, not about how big the enemies are but how big they look to the MC, not about the setting but how the MC has to maneuver to get around it. Like I said you jam a lot of action in here as well, the MC gets used to riding, attacks the enemy, out maneuvers the enemy, and crashes all in the space of 500 words. Maybe it would've been a little better to cut out a bit of that action to describe the details a little more but that's a stylistic criticism. Great story.
@Ava I don't get this story. I feel like this has no climax and thus it's a disappointing read. The doors just led to more doors, and it felt like there was no meaning behind them. His decision just led to more of the same, and at the end it felt like a waste of time. I don't get what the "Magic Festival" is either, and if you were referencing something like another story then that's a pretty big no-no. Also you repeated yourself way too much, especially with "Jake" and "door." Use some pronouns next time.
suba - 0
boskov - 7.5
afg - 8
ava - 2
You said you weren't joking around but this was clearly a joke entry. Reads like something out of kindergarten and isn't particularly inventive or effective in its humor either. It was a story and it was prose so it has that going for it, at least. I'm still not sure what your intention was with this.
@mass of the fermenting drews
This opening line was a bit confusing to read. Splendor is virtually always used in a positive or glorifying context so setting it up with rotten introduces a little too abstract a concept to actually set the tone you want to set. You sort of have to "get" what you mean right away which I think is very unlikely unless there's some sort of intuitive image for what "rotten splendor" even entails. Maybe I'm just dumb but the wording makes the reader work a little too hard to fill in the gaps.
Strong descriptions here, I'm mentally taking notes on how you squeeze in imagery in a seamless flow. I would tweak the bolded words for elegance and precision but they work so it's not worth micromanaging too much.
Top level stuff here (as far as a know-nothing like me can even judge) so I don't have much to offer by way of critique. I'll just praise instead. I think there's a fine line between making dialogue and plot elements too-cryptic to the point of being mysterious just to be mysterious, but yours reads nothing like self indulgent esoterism and everything like conscious, unapologetic world building with just enough to get the gist of what's going on. It takes skill to do this properly so kudos. Absolutely loved the "a noise like agreement" phrase, I'm always nosing for prose techniques that convey the most by saying the least, and do so with style and character, so I can't say I won't steal this technique.
The first bolded excerpt is a sentence fragment, probably just a typo or missing word here by accident. The second bolded was a tad awkward compared with the rest of your piece, felt a little too direct in its explanation to the reader while also not being as elegant in its description as it could've been. I get that you're describing currency and poverty (inb4 you weren't and I'm a dumbo) but the phrasing could've been adjusted into the actual tone and register of your work. The concept is fine and effective though.
Overall I was impressed by this, learned some stuff from reading it. The third quote is some of the best prose I've read in this contest. Hope you get the itch to participate more often.
Interesting piece. You gave a good effort in getting into the mind of your character and imagining a meditative introspection fit to base a narrative on. The prose did feel wanting in parts, ie; "great pit", "ancient dungeon", "as unreal as imagination" but was overall competent enough.
I really liked this ending, strong piece of dialogue to set up the final two lines. Really rounds out the magic theme and grounds the preceding narrative with an earned closure. Makes me interested in knowing what happens next, which is itself a great sign.
Overall the prose could've used more elegance and specificity but it the thought and setting were nice.
Lots of comma splices here, should take note of how commas are meant to convey clauses as opposed to semicolons or periods. You make Jake talk out loud to himself in this story, which is a trope straight out of a shonen anime which is better left scrapped imo. You gave yourself away in the discussion thread in writing words just to write words, which explains why you essentially use a large amount of words to describe very simple concepts and events, which works against your prose. You did good in keeping it simple though; simplicity is usually a positive, and dressing up your sentences with unnecessary fancy words is always a negative. But with simplicity you want brevity and elegance; simple words that describe your narrative efficiently and effectively. It takes practice to get right (I'm still learning) but it's one of the most essential ingredients to good prose. Your story itself was disappointingly unimaginative, I wanted it to be more serious than your last but it ended up only being more serious to the point of not being a fanfiction or name-dropping NFers, which was a low bar to set. Imaginative in this case (and in most cases I use the word) meaning a compelling story worth actually telling, which can be simple at its surface provided it has narrative value. What does the experience of the doors mean, if anything? Why is their mysteriousness compelling, if at all? What is Jake like, and how does his character relate with this world of doors and Magic? You don't even need to have this all planned out, it's just a decent guiding hand in determining whether you're actually telling a story.
I've been sick the past few days, but if nobody objects I'll try to get ratings in tomorrow.
If not you can just move along and I can send you them individually, if you want them.
don't sweat it, pop in and out at your pace
the structure and deadlines are mostly to keep the contest moving and qualify the points bullshit, which you don't care about anyway
(trying not to scare box away with shit-this-sort-of-drains-time syndrome so he has incentive to be a quasi regular presence here instead of making cameo appearances every 8 months)
1. Boskov - 8.17/10
2. afg - 8.0/10
3. Shit - 6.75/10
Ava - 3.5/10
Subarashii - 1.0/10
Special thanks to @ЯƎWO⅃ᖷ for dropping by and rating, we hope she sticks around.
@shit earns himself 6 points by being the sole qualifier due to participating in the 50+ word critiques. He gets to choose the next theme (and the Wednesday deadline he's been keen on).
@Ava could've hauled 4 reward points by doing his crits, but some things were never meant to be.
@ЯƎWO⅃ᖷ is a butt head
Make it a good one, shit
next theme is super powers
I thought I would only get 1 point.
Anyways Milad I'm not good at this clearly and I have no interest in getting points anymore so I won't be participating in future flash fictions.
Thanks for everything.
i'll try participating in the next one. i stopped doing these things because i think my preferred genre of literature would bore the shit out of you boys
lol, your tag didnt even work. if you're gonna call me a butthead....at least know how to tag me.