Tough Love

Been awhile since I’ve attended the literary vivisection that is my biweekly critique group with something to read.  This week, I brought in a 996-word flash fiction piece, written to a story prompt I found online–sorry, but due to the rules of the forum, I can’t post the prompt here.

Anyway, here’s what the gang had to say…


  • I was unsatisfied with the working title I gave the story, but at least one reader thought it fit just fine.
  • As usual, at least one reader called my story “intriguing.”
  • People liked my description of “bad college behavior,” especially in regard to one peculiar substance.


  • That certain peculiar substance didn’t click as much for a couple of readers as much as for the rest.  They understood how I used it; just didn’t resonate, it seemed.
  • Only one reader out of eight seemed completely satisfied with how I ended the piece.  Most, even those who understood the implications, still thought the ending could’ve been “stronger” or “more clever.”

A short critique for a short piece.  Sometimes, though, I don’t feel I deserve the praise I sometimes get for my flash.  Flash seems to cover a multitude of sins, where my writing is concerned.  It makes sense–the more I write, the more that can go wrong.  But sometimes, I feel like the success–or lack thereof–of my longer pieces is more representative of my current abilities. Oh, well…

2 thoughts on “Tough Love”

  1. It's always an odd sensation to have others read my work. I was with it alone, by myself, for the longest and then others pick it apart. I'll take the good with the bad and go back to revising to make my work shine.

  2. I'll take the good with the bad and go back to revising to make my work shine.

    Always the best attitude to have!

    I don't feel odd, but I do feel close to how I do when I used to play music on stage. You like to think you walk on stage 100% ready to kick butt and that your audience is 100% ready to listen. But it never works out that way. You flub notes, your song might bore people, they start to yawn, &c., but the show must go on.

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