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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » The Shape Of Worlds

   
Author Topic: The Shape Of Worlds
monstewer
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Thought I'd make it a trilogy of flashes before I get back to work on my longer WIP, not that I'm procrastinating or anything. Comments on the 13 or offers to read the whole 1k are all much appreciated. Thanks.

Barely had the applause of the audience died from Athur Ravelle’s ears before the stench of the dead assaulted his nose. He pressed his handkerchief to his nose and hurried on, averting his eyes from the red glare of the scutter-bots scurrying through the graveyard. Even quicklime hadn’t been enough to handle the London dead, and so the alien machines had been sent to work.

A heavy fog already shrouded the Thames. The only sound was the tap-tap of Athur’s cane as he hurried through the gloom.

His destination was a dimly lit tavern on Dorset Street. The ceiling was low and he had to remove his hat and duck his head as he entered the foul-smelling common room. He kept his handkerchief firmly in his pocket, the ruffians here wouldn’t


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snapper
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This is easy. All the problems with this piece are in the first line.

quote:
Barely had the applause of the audience died from Athur Ravelle’s ears before the stench of the dead assaulted his nose.

First the 'before' should be a 'when'. However, the rest of the piece had little to do with this line.

Where did the audience come from? Why are they there? Why are they applauding? What did Arthur do to deserve the ovation? And finally why all the dead?
None of those questions were addressed in the opening.


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BoredCrow
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I'd be willing to read these flashes for you - in this case, I can offer my credentials as a slush reader for a professional flash fiction magazine. Which means I can be as harsh (or as nice) as you'd like me to.
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AWSullivan
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Hey Monstewer,

I am always envious of those who can write flash. Hard as I try I've never been able to put an entire story in less than 1000 words.

I found the three paragraphs to be very must distinct from one another. As though there seemed to be little or no relationship between the audience, the cemetery/robots, the Thames and the tavern.

I know this is flash and you have to use every word but it almost seems like you are trying to crap too much in here.

On the contrary, I've never been able to write flash so maybe that's why!

Good Luck and I'll read anything under 1000 words.

~Anthony


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snapper
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Everything that I have sold has been under a thousand words. The biggest complaint I get is my characters lack depth. Perhaps my tendency to keep my tales tight is a benefit for flash but a detriment to longer pieces.
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alliedfive
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Agree that the first thirteen touches on several disparate topics, but, for me, the mood is set extremely effectively. The imagery and promise of robots, dead people, and a bar full of ruffians is plenty to keep me reading. I dig it. Also, the first sentence didn't bother me, I think it gives a distinctive aristocratic voice to your character.
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Kaz
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AWSullivan pretty much sums it up. It feels as if the story actually starts from

quote:
A heavy fog already shrouded the Thames

I feel you switch between scenes too quickly. His destination is the tavern, then he's already entering the common room. That's too fast for me. Also, "foul-smelling" does little for me. What kind of foulness?


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