Tough Love

My newest project, “The one with the mask,” got generally good reviews from the crit group today. No, it’s not on the sidebar yet, as Zokutou seems to be down. As much as I was loath to bring in an unfinished piece, the group seemed to understand and I got exactly the sort of comments that were appropriate for a piece in the stage it’s currently in.

The Good

  • People found the protagonist to be sympathetic.
  • No one found fault with the use of flashback, thus far (though someone made the comment that the prose might need tightening, depending on the story’s final length).
  • Most importantly, they wanted more!

The Bad

  • The relationship between the two characters shown thus far needed to have been specified up front, maybe with some dialogue.
  • Someone stated they would’ve liked more dialogue in the beginning because they didn’t get a sense of the protagonist’s voice. This one actually disturbed me, because the critiquer was right–there wasn’t a clear sense of the protagonist’s voice, partly because I’m not sure I know what it sounds like yet.
  • The secondary character needs to be the reality anchor. The story’s a contemporary fantasy joint, you see, and there needed to be a stronger sense of the general whereabouts of “reality.”
  • I referred to the secondary character by a real name and a nickname. I should’ve picked one or the other.

The Ugly

There didn’t seem to be an ugly this time around. Of course, I was only five pages in, so there’s lots of room to fuck it up. Speaking of which, no one mentioned being as bothered as I was that I somehow managed to cram more swearing into five pages than I have into some of my other stories.

Anywho, like I said, I’ve got most of the beats worked out. And, during our post-critique chill-out Kaffeeklatsch, a fair amount of interesting details came to me that I just had to get down. Remember the King quote from the other day? Eh, I’m sure they all understood. They’re all writers.