Author Topic: Short Story Criticism  (Read 1074 times)

Offline Adobe

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Short Story Criticism
« on: January 10, 2017, 10:55:23 PM »
This post comes from the 'books' thread. I am going to post a short story and hoping for some criticism, both negative and positive. The story is 6,000 plus words and I'll break it into 3 parts.

When I cut and paste it, it smushes all up, so I'm going to attempt to send it as an attachment (something I've never done before on this form so let me know if you can open it) I have no formal training, I am not a writer...I just write anyway. The title is "La India" or Indian Woman

Thanks 100c
Adobe

Offline Adobe

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Re: Short Story Criticism
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2017, 11:14:07 PM »
Part one attachment work just fine, part 2 however wouldn't post as it was said to be wrong kind of file to upload, I'll try one more time now, and if it doesn't post I'll ask for help.
Adobe

Offline 100c

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Re: Short Story Criticism
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2017, 05:00:19 AM »
This post comes from the 'books' thread. I am going to post a short story and hoping for some criticism, both negative and positive. The story is 6,000 plus words and I'll break it into 3 parts.

When I cut and paste it, it smushes all up, so I'm going to attempt to send it as an attachment (something I've never done before on this form so let me know if you can open it) I have no formal training, I am not a writer...I just write anyway. The title is "La India" or Indian Woman

Thanks 100c

I've never read a story by a non-writer:)

I love how it starts and how you painted the perfect picture of a seaside restaurant, the smells, sounds and sights. As a writer, you seem to have the basics down. Your sentences flow well and it was easy to fall into the story and forget everything else.

It does have some little issues, here and there, but nothing that can't be easily fixed. For example, and you'll see how trivial this is, your paragraph that starts with (“I know papi) has a quotation mark in the wrong direction and next to the wrong word which detracts slightly from the story. There's just little things like that, that every writer finds in the editing process. A slightly higher level improvement would be to make extra clear who is talking. I got confused a couple times. For example, when you wrote (“No, that’s all over...it’s gone.” I could have packed up), the woman was talking I believe and then on the same line, he started thinking so I had to step back and re-convince myself who was talking.

Now for the higher level stuff that I think will help your story. I started having problems following along at the paragraph that starts: (“Where are you going: back to the village, to your mom, to your daughter?”) Questions kept popping into my head and there didn't seem to be any answers coming. This takes the reader out of the story. Short stories compound this problem. For a short story, you need to only reveal the bare minimum to keep the story flowing. In other words, don't branch out too much. If you want your reader to have questions, have the next part of the story be the answer to the question.

My last comment, is that after the 1st attachment, I still don't know where the story is going, but I like the mood and setting.

I could spend a lot more time, going into more detail, but I think I've given you enough.

Offline Adobe

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Re: Short Story Criticism
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2017, 01:51:34 PM »
Thanks 100c for your comments, I’ll work on them. Part 2 is posted just under part 1 and I can post part 3 if we get that far. Part 2 does describe the woman’s village and family life.

I first wrote the stories only for myself, but now I am attempting to make them ‘readable’ to others. One of my concern is the esoteric innuendoes I use when I write about ‘they tell us these are lessons’ (is the reader wondering who I’m talking about, do I make that clear by the end?)
 
And juxtaposing the exhilaration man feels while imbibing on the suffering and death of the community of sea life with the exhilaration ‘they’ receive with the suffering and death of this indigenous population.

If I made my point clear in the writing, then the conclusion should be ‘someone’ is enjoying the suffering of these indigenous people and while we look in horror at that, we can’t see that we do the same thing and call it good. So if you get that far in the story please tell me…did I make that clear? And how far did I paint myself into a corner by reducing the amount of people that would understand or enjoy such genre?
 
When I use a Spanish word should I always translate it, or take them out all together? For now I think most readers are savvy enough to figure it out…but what do I know:-)
Adobe

Offline 100c

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Re: Short Story Criticism
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2017, 04:43:02 AM »
Thanks 100c for your comments, I'll work on them. Part 2 is posted just under part 1 and I can post part 3 if we get that far. Part 2 does describe the woman’s village and family life.

I first wrote the stories only for myself, but now I am attempting to make them ‘readable’ to others. One of my concern is the esoteric innuendoes I use when I write about ‘they tell us these are lessons’ (is the reader wondering who I’m talking about, do I make that clear by the end?)
 
And juxtaposing the exhilaration man feels while imbibing on the suffering and death of the community of sea life with the exhilaration ‘they’ receive with the suffering and death of this indigenous population.

If I made my point clear in the writing, then the conclusion should be ‘someone’ is enjoying the suffering of these indigenous people and while we look in horror at that, we can’t see that we do the same thing and call it good. So if you get that far in the story please tell me…did I make that clear? And how far did I paint myself into a corner by reducing the amount of people that would understand or enjoy such genre?
 
When I use a Spanish word should I always translate it, or take them out all together? For now I think most readers are savvy enough to figure it out…but what do I know:-)

My responses to your specific questions:
I think I understand what you meant about someone enjoying the suffering and death after you explained it more, but in the story, not very well. I like this sort of thing, but I was just confused by the story to see that deeply into it.
I would translate the Spanish words. I only know a few Spanish words. I think people appreciate a translation, unless it's in dialog, but in those cases, you should make it clear somehow to the reader, what the person said or meant, in general.

Some additional thoughts:
The following line made me smile: "He wasn’t old enough to know anything about anything, yet he persisted in having an opinion." I know a lot of people like that.
When I read the following phrase for the second time, I realized that the first instance had been intentional. I've never heard of this phrase before: "worry my fingers through his hair"
Overall, I had to read a few sections a few times to figure out what was going on. The last paragraph in attachment2 confused me. I didn't know who you were talking about.

I loved how the story began, but after you set the right mood, it would be nice to have a small hint at how the short story is going to end, or what I'm going to get out of it. I still don't know where it's going. It would be nice to have someone else's take on it. Who knows, maybe other people would totally get it already.
Maybe I get it, but just think it's something else. Is the story about a man who left his wife, but gets sucked back into life with her and then decides to give her another chance? I don't mind not knowing what's going to happen, but I like to know what the story is about.
I also like how the story is set among a culture I don't know. It's nice to see different perspectives on life.

Just something I do to help me edit, I read it out loud. I hope you keep writing, even if it is just for yourself.

Offline Adobe

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Re: Short Story Criticism
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2017, 01:49:41 PM »
Thanks again 100c, I am taking notes on your comments, and at this point if you will read part 3 the ending, (which I think is the story and part 1 & 2 were just leading up to) I’d like to see if the whole story fill in the blanks. I will attach part 3 (the end) to this post. Please comment on the spiritual or esoteric conclusions the story is making, are they too little, too much, convoluted…?

I leave blank spots in the story for the reader to fill in on their own. I think to spell everything out would make it too juvenile or boring, BUT I can’t see it from a reader’s perspective so maybe I’m overdoing it and yours and others comments would be much appreciated. This story is also part of a series and I’m not sure if each story should re-explain who the characters are….?

The last paragraph of part 2, I was returning to the suicide of La India.
Adobe

Offline 100c

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Re: Short Story Criticism
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2017, 09:45:44 PM »
Thanks again 100c, I am taking notes on your comments, and at this point if you will read part 3 the ending, (which I think is the story and part 1 & 2 were just leading up to) I’d like to see if the whole story fill in the blanks. I will attach part 3 (the end) to this post. Please comment on the spiritual or esoteric conclusions the story is making, are they too little, too much, convoluted…?

I leave blank spots in the story for the reader to fill in on their own. I think to spell everything out would make it too juvenile or boring, BUT I can’t see it from a reader’s perspective so maybe I’m overdoing it and yours and others comments would be much appreciated. This story is also part of a series and I’m not sure if each story should re-explain who the characters are….?

The last paragraph of part 2, I was returning to the suicide of La India.

Give me a few days to respond :D Pretty busy here...

Offline Adobe

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Re: Short Story Criticism
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2017, 12:51:31 PM »
No worries...things take time. I appreciate you help.
Adobe

Offline Adobe

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Re: Short Story Criticism
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2017, 07:25:47 PM »
Dear Moderators:

I would like to request the removal of this thread.
 
Please inform.

(100c thank you for your interest and assistance.)
Adobe

Offline 100c

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Re: Short Story Criticism
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2017, 08:14:45 PM »
Adobe, sorry for the delay. I saved your 2nd and 3rd attachments and will get to them in a few more days.
If this topic gets deleted, I'll give my feedback in the other one.