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Old July 28th, 2011 (04:04 PM).
Mizan de la Plume Kuro's Avatar
Mizan de la Plume Kuro
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Airstrip One, Oceania
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cutlerine View Post
Break his heart, Estella. Break his heart..
The more I see of you, the more I find it harder to retract the statement that, "You sir, are quite possibly the most well-read person I have ever known."

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I thought I'd drop by and read your story, since naming anything after the erstwhile owner of Satis House is enough to pique my interest, and also because you were kind enough to read one of my own stories once. I have to admit that it's definitely confusing. That's good, though; I like the way the various chunks of narrative are kept short and jumbled up, creating a sense of the fractured thought processes that power your crazy protagonist.
Yes, the story is definitely experimental in terms of setting the atmosphere through the use of unconventional narrative techniques, but I do feel that it should've been more comprehensible than confusing. It's incredibly difficult to strike that perfect balance between having a story which is understandable but also manages to tell the reader that 'this is supposed to be confusing' or even better that 'Jennifer might not be the sanest of people'.

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One thing that did give me cause for concern was the ultra-high concentration of adjectives and adverbs in some of the sentences, as here:

It might just be me, but I think that that's probably too much for just one clause. Every single noun and most of the verbs have at least one qualifier attached, which can be a bit overwhelming. That's not to say the description isn't good, just that a couple of the sentences aren't that nice to look at.

However, I suppose that they could be intended to reflect the protagonist's state of mind, made deliberately clunky to hint at discord within her head. I don't know. In fact, I've confused myself and have completely forgotten what else I was going to say.
Mmm yeah, I think I might have overdid it there. I would love to say that it was intentional, but I can't because it wasn't. It would've been an excellent narrative technique, but, alas, I wasn't really intending it to be so that's just me getting a bit over-excited with the use of adjectives. I attribute that to my recent discovery that a lot of my writing is, in fact, dry. Especially that comedy of mine.


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I see exactly why that's worded as it is, but when you read it, it just seems paradoxical. Speaking to her is, in fact, an indication that he's heard her (even though he hasn't really because it isn't real). It's perfectly correct, but could probably be worded more comprehensibly.
I get where you're coming from, but I'm not sure how to fix that without losing the effect I was trying to convey. I'm glad you picked up on that not being real though. That was the first indication that she might just be imagining things because, really, who says 'I love you' without looking at your lover? It felt callous and was meant to convey that. All that remains is to make it clearer.

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As a side note, Geoffrey also does this simultaneous noticing-and-not-noticing thing in the last section, where he doesn't register Miss Gilligan's arrival and yet shakes his head solemnly.
As for that, I was intending to say that he didn't actually notice her arriving, nor give any indication (like, say, looking at her), but he did just jump into conversation straight away. In retrospect, I could've handled that better, but I finished that in the last two/three hours before the contest finished, and I'm really bad with time zones (especially with this daylight savings nonsense I didn't have to contend with when I was back home), so I set myself a buffer. In any case, I was intending to rewrite this section here.

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Anyway, that's enough from me. Despite my criticisms, it's a good story and I enjoyed it thoroughly. I also accept your congratulations regally, with a barely perceptible nod of the head. Like a very, very wise sort of king. Or a rather annoying sort of king; I can't decide. And after rambling for a while, I offer my commiserations that you did not place higher, despite writing an excellent story. The competition must indeed have been fierce.
And I thank you, my good sir, for your critique and compliments, of which I enjoy getting from good writers and reviewers who definitely know what they're talking about. I will get around to reading your fic and the rest of the victors' ones soon enough.
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Havisham
"Break his heart, Estella. Break
his heart..." - Cutlerine
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The Promise I Made to You

SWC 2012 Second Place
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