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Do You Know Me?

That would be a "No." 0.4018691588785 40.2% [ 43 ]
Of course! We're BFFs! 0.046728971962617 4.7% [ 5 ]
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The Solarised Night's avatar

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Eripsa

Eripsa

Would you do me the honour in critiquing my WIP listed on the front page under entrants/ The Solarised Night?

I don't have access to the internet at the moment so editing is rather slow but I am seeking opinions and tips from what I have so far. I am not happy with it and it will undergo a massive change between now and closing time but I'd love it if you looked through it.

I saw you in the AGWL by the way. Welcome.
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This Is Our World.
We are never alone in this world.
We are always lonely even though.
We have a god that leads us yet we do not trust.
Pity and jealously runs though our veins.
We are always lonely in this world we called home though we don't care.
In a moment we are set free.
In a moment we are in pain once again.
Never forgiving,never regretting.
This is our world we call home.

In your world you have peace.
In your world you have happiness.
In your world everyone is true to who they are.
In your world there is equlity.
In your world nobody is diffrent.
This is the world you call home.

In my world everyone has a diffrent feeling deep inside.
In my world everyone is diffrent.
In my world we have war to see who's better.
In my world our friends are our life.
In my world we are ourselves in our own world.
This is my world
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Lusci
Dear Ex-Lover,

I memorized the way you walk so that in a crowd of thousands, I can pick you out by your gait alone. I could turn to someone next to me and point at you, tell them that you loved me, once upon a time.

I memorized the way you talk so that when everyone around me is yelling, I can hear your whisper. I can imagine that you're whispering in my ear again, telling me that you still want me.

I memorized the way you used to look at me so that when I was lost in front of a sea of steel gazes, I could pick out the warmth in yours.



Dear Ex-Lover,

I kept the notes you wrote me. I trace the words with my fingertips, hoping they will call you back to me if they spark with enough love.



Dear Ex-Lover,

The ink you bled into my heart and wrote your name with has dried into a permanent smudge of filth there. Try as I might to scrub it clean, I never seem to be able to get more than a slight fade before it surges back, brighter and bolder than before.



Dear Ex-Lover...

The surgery went well but there's a thick, cauterized line down the right side of my chest, stopping at the swell of my breast. The doctors say that it's the only mark I'll have left to remember you by now.


Dear Ex-Lover,

I still think of you.




(This is also posted on allpoetry.com under LuceRepleuit, so if you see it there, no worries. It's me biggrin It's also much better formatted there if you want to take a looksie. Here's the link: http://allpoetry.com/poem/9372485-Series_of_Letters__Dear_Ex-Lover_-by-Luce_Repleuit)


Hiya I'll critque your work!

Well for the most part it's really good! But the only thing I wish you did was put those letters into a story,but you don't have to. The letters could be a bit longer since they are short. Like
"I miss you like I miss the wind that used to blow your hair back. I wish for the days we could meet once more as we did that one day" Haha as you can see I can't write your thing but add a bit more detail to it please. Imagery is a great thing like what you did with the ink. Keep writing!
The Love Mutt's avatar

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My optimistic, naive, and over-reaching goal would be to critique every piece... However, it's 2am, I have work tomorrow, and I know how busy and when not busy, unmotivated I can be.

Sooo, for now, I'll crit a couple lonely pieces that no one's touched as of yet.

johnidiotsmith
I Am

I am a mockingbird
my heart is an innocent child
doing nothing harmful to the world
only singing joyful tune when needed


You need some punctuation here. Even

I am a mockingbird,
my heart an innocent child

would fix that error. But something does need to be done about that- otherwise it reads like a long, painful run-on. Also, check your grammar- should that be "tune" or "tunes"?

Quote:
Yet i am a Tyrannosaurus Rex
my feet are hammers to the ground
destroying everything in my path
and my heart is pure sin, with a thirst for evil

Same deal as above with punctuation or grammar. Also, if you're going to capitalize "I" in the first stanza, and/or capitalize the first letter of each stanza, you need to capitalize the I's everywhere else. Pick a style with the capitalization and stick to it.

Quote:
Though maybe i am not those things
maybe i am the wind
my quiet whispers are
nothing but beckonings
to the lonely hearted who share my pain

Same as both of the above. I also feel like the first line of this stanza is completely pointless. It ruins the feel of things. Try starting the stanza off from "Maybe I am the wind..." It lends your topic much more power than blatantly stating "Maybe I am not those things." That line is just wordy and unnecessary. (And that word just took me far too long to properly type. I need sleep. xD).

Quote:
Invisible to all those who gaze upon the stars
yet angry, destroying masses in twisters
only hoping one day
i'll only be the wind that satifies the hot summer days

Spell-check. You're missing an "S" in satisfies.

Here's the deal. I like where this poem could go. You have some great imagery that you can work off of here (maybe I am the wind, quiet whispers beckoning). However, right now this reads far too much like telling, and not showing. Make things more subtle. Steer clear of cliches and repetitious phrases (innocent/nothing harmful). Look for the less obvious things to note - Reach deeper into yourself to really find why you compare yourself to each new object or animal. When you've done all that, and this is my most common piece of advice but also my most CRUCIAL: READ your poem OUT LOUD. To yourself. To a friend. To a wall. But hear the words, hear each line, and hear each stanza. It's much easier to pinpoint when you're being wordy, or what lines resonate more than others, when you can actually hear it. If it helps, have someone else read it out loud to you. Reading aloud always helps me fix my rhythm, my flow, my line breaks, etc. It also makes me realize what lines just don't work, and what phrases might be a little too obvious, awkward, or just plain boring. I think that could really solidify what future edits you might make.
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The7thKira
This is a poem I wrote for my girlfriend, and also for a novel i'm writing. My critique will be following this.

We Burn Romantic
I walk to reality following my heels.
By my side, your steps sing a melody,
A love song
Reaping the truth out of these lies
Ravaging the grounds of your lives

You accept like no ghost can understand.
You caress like no hoax can comfort.
My faith is in you.

Put out the fire that burns me.
Put out that fire in your head.
Love me and my heresy.
What was not was always dead.

You walk with nobility, following your fear.
In your mind, your steps sing an elegy,
but I’m forever here.
I’m singing right before your eyes.
Singing to help you realize,
that my faith is in you.

Will you hold my hand,
when eternally damned?
We'll live forever,
till scythe sever,
so have no fear.
Wake up, my dear.
Extinguish the fire,
lit by the liars.

We’re the heretics,
in a world so sick.
While they’re frantic,
we burn romantic.

I have to say- normally rhyming makes me cringe. You did a decent job of going for the less-obvious or basic rhymes, and I actually enjoyed some of them. However, you do need to solidify the structure a bit. For instance, the fifth stanza has rhyming couplets throughout, but the second stanza has no end rhymes whatsoever. I'll also give you the same advice I gave johnidiotsmith: Read the poem out loud. You'll hear some of the inconsistencies in line length and overall poem flow.

I think, in the first stanza especially, you could rethink some of your line breaks and punctuation breaks. Lengthen your phrases/sentences out a bit. For example, "a love song" could easily be moved up to the line above it, making it less choppy and promoting a smoother flow that sits well with the flow of the rest of the poem, especially once you introduce the rhyme.

Also, pick a capitalization scheme and stick to it. In the last half of the poem, you capitalize the beginning of each new sentence- GREAT. Do that in the first couple of stanzas as well. Visually, that alone will curb some of the choppiness of those stanzas.
The Love Mutt's avatar

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And after critiquing, I suppose I should probably enter something in order to be considered an official entrant xD. I'll do it before I go to bed, so I don't forget.

This is my [tentative] entry. Based on critiques I get [here and from Wing, but mostly from Wing], I may switch this out for something else. This is a very new piece from me, and I'm not entirely sure how I feel about it yet, as it was written in a rare moment of depressed/miserablenumb clarity outpouring from me, sooooo, we'll see. Enough of my angsty ranting (so unlike me >.< wink , and here's the piece. Have at it.

saint valentine

his heartbeat still echoes around me,
pounding its memory into my mind
and I shudder as I feel his fingers
tracing down my spine
long after he left.

when I open my eyes
I find the room empty, devoid of all
but the buh-bumps from within
and my ragged breathing
forcing its way out.

and I'm left with no options
except one:
he's really gone.

well, ********.
Eripsa's avatar

Intellectual Gekko

The Solarised Night
Eripsa

Eripsa

Would you do me the honour in critiquing my WIP listed on the front page under entrants/ The Solarised Night?

I don't have access to the internet at the moment so editing is rather slow but I am seeking opinions and tips from what I have so far. I am not happy with it and it will undergo a massive change between now and closing time but I'd love it if you looked through it.

I saw you in the AGWL by the way. Welcome.


Hello! Thank you, good to be here biggrin

Of course! You're now at the top of my list smile . In a rather impulsive moment I decided I'd critique all of the stories.

Unfortunately, I am a loon at poetry. I just don't get it unless it's Robert Frost or Emily Dickinson. I apologize to all of the poets out there who I simply cannot critique with any measure of useful knowledge.
Eripsa's avatar

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moonbird67
Eripsa

As I read yours, I can't help but laugh at just how different we are in the writing world. It really is extraordinary.

As an example, I like your plot and story, but the length of your sentences irk me. I would sugest using a comma, semicolon or colon to connect similair ideas and lists. You say:

"It reminded him of an egg. Eventually they’d hatch in a home similar to the one they had just left."

I would attach both sentence together so the pause wouldn't be so awkward. As a proof reading thing, and I am ashamed of how long it took me to figure this out, if you read it aloud exactly as it is written, it will help with the flow. If you read the two above, you can feel how the pause disrupts the flow.

"It reminded him of an egg; eventually they’d hatch in a home similar to the one they had just left." This would flow more evenly.

Your comma use seems to be off as well. But like you said, no one understand grammar. "Now two enormous, colorful forms traded noises next to the..." I do not believe the comma is needed here. Read it aloud, it sounds wrong. If you were listing more than two traits then a comma would be needed. But two in a row is fine ot keep together. "...two enormous colorful forms..." would probably be the better flowing of the two.

I like how you developed the other crickets through the calmness of Sergeant Crick. I like how you personified a crickets.

I, as you probably could expect, would suggest adding more abstract details to this; showing us instead of telling. For instance, you say:
"Cheep was in danger.
You could, instead of stating all of this, say: "Cheep had scuttled into the dark corner where the many others had previously found themselves." From this, the reader can insinuate danger, without actually having to read the word. Understand?

Overall, it was a cute read and though slightly predictable (not your fault, my friends accuse me of being psychic when it comes to reading), I did enjoy the creativity you put into it. It is not everyday you see a story from the cricket's point of view.


I like your idea of the semi-colon in that first sentence. It had been giving me trouble, and now perhaps I can lay it to rest with that edit.

I must contest something: I never said "no one understand grammar." Please do not misquote me. I understand that this is possibly a misunderstanding, but one of my goals is to understand and utilize grammar--in both the way it was meant to be used and the way that best suits me. Just want to clear that up.

Thank you for your critique smile I shall keep it in mind during my next big revision. One last question: was it clear what was happening in the end?
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This was a write up I did about a year ago for a character in my book that can control time. Which is actually relevant knowledge to this entry and will definitely resolve some confusion at the end. Little editing went in to this before it was posted.

A Time Paradox:

An ocean of sweat beaded on my forehead, flowing down the bridge of my nose and falling off the edge like a waterfall. The air crept from my lungs, a prisoner escaping his cell. Fire and ice wrapped my body in a war between temperatures; freezing bombs and scathing swords attacking one another all over. My fingers gripped the glass that had broken earlier and squeezed until their knuckles were white and their palms were scarlet. A subconscious last ditch effort to jerk pain's attention to where I wanted it to be, but I was a fool to try and control something so volatile, and it got the best of me. Instead of focusing in one, predetermined, spot, the pain rushed and added to itself.

It had never occurred to me before that death would be so excruciating. All of a sudden I felt so, absolutely, miniscule in the universe. What had I done? Who would remember me? Was everything I did in my life just a complete waste? Tears joined the waterfall now, joining hands with their sweaty allies and plunging from my nose. Envy colored me in that moment, crazy as being jealous of my own sweat and tears was. I wanted control then, of everything, but especially of my life. My mind swirled, pitched, and turned as it desperately groped for some way to reverse the repercussions of that fight.

Then the steps began.

Fear, deeper and more pure than the fear of death, rolled through my muscles. I felt them seize under my skin and began to shake as my attacker returned. Without words his icy hands grasped my bare shoulders and ripped me from my position on all fours to a forced stance on locked knees. I kept my face down, eyes aimed directly at the bloody streaks vandalizing the wooden floor. For some reason seeing my blood was surreal. So much of it was in too many places for my mind to comprehend at one. Did I really have that much blood in my body at one point? Yet another question going unanswered, as the assailant lurched my chin to make my ice like eyes stare directly into the vast ocean living in his.

Rage and hate were making some sort of provocative, sexual mixture in his face that warned of a danger I was positive I was not the first to see. His lips, cracked and dry, kissed down my cheek and jaw. My body cringed away with natural apprehension and terror as this figure that I so abhorred grabbed my hand and kissed my bloodied palms. Red on white, his lips reminded me of a twisted, demented version of snow white when he flashed me that wicked grin. Tears began to streak my face again and I suppressed a sob like a child. This man pressed his lips to mine; a forced symbol of feigned affection.

My biggest regret is not returning that abominate kiss. Maybe he would have killed me then. Maybe he would have slit a deep line into my throat with that glass and been satisfied with himself. Instead, he beamed like a newly wed bride and darted his nasty, grimy, hand toward my face. The pain was unmeasurable, but I didn't feel it until after my left eye was already gone and I had woken up from fainting. My entire body was shaking and I wasn't sure that the screaming was mine until I ran out of breath again.

I scoured the house for a phone, but it seemed like they had disappeared. Everything had been set back in place otherwise, and as I padded the side table next to the couch I found a note. In scrawled handwriting someone had written: "An eye for an eye."
Memories of the man and his eye patch returned to me and everything made sense.

I looked in the mirror, at my assailant, and wrapped my eye, and began preparing a plan to retrieve it.
Eripsa's avatar

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Hi The Solarised Night. I’m Eripsa. Pleasure to meet you smile I’d like to critique your short fiction story “Virtual Obsession.”

I like this piece. I feel like I don’t have to comment on any local issues, so I’m going to focus on the more global aspects, if you don’t mind. I like the internalization throughout, and the relatability of the story. Case in point: it’s 3:24pm and I’m still in my pajamas. Of course, I’m waiting for my job to start so I can start making the moolah, and that’s the first question I have about your character. What I wanted from the piece was all about the character and about the external world of the narrative. You have the internal thoughts down great, and I say keep these because I get a great sense of the personality and motivations of the character. However, there’s still a lot I don’t know, and as a result I felt quite lost reading the story.

I realized that I didn’t know if the main character is a male or female, not even by the end of the piece.

EDIT: I reread the story, and I have concluded female as a result of this line:

Quote:
“I am isolated and alone; no one is going to see that I haven’t shaved my legs in weeks.

Only girls shave their legs! Right? Unfortunately I wrote this entire piece assuming the character was a male...I'm sorry. Just imagine I'm talking about another, exact same story in which the main character is a dude.

Back to the point: Gender is also alluded to when bullies call the character gay, but that’s a common and unisex insult, so I’m not inclined to tend one way or another. This story is about a human: a very interesting human's psychology. Gender is very relevant here, same for the character's name, or identity, also unknown. As well as the question of gender (and I’ll refer to your character using the pronoun ‘he’ for simplicity’s sake) and name, I am not sure what you mean when you say:

”The Solarised Night”
When I left school, I lost my purpose.


“Left school”? I would really recommend being very specific here, because this is essentially setting the stage for his descent into virtual reality. Did he drop out? Did he graduate? Was it high school? University? Which university? The fact that there were bullies leads me to think high school. If it was, then why isn’t he applying to universities? Or looking for a job? If it is University, why isn’t he looking for a job relevant in his field?

Along that vain, I have questions about his living situation. Where does he live if he no longer goes to school? Can he afford an apartment without a job? From all of his free time, I’d guess he’s living at his parent’s home. The impression I got at first was that he couldn’t find a job graduating college and so he moved back to his parent’s place until he could. Towards the end, however, it’s clear that he lives by himself or with some very, very passive aggressive and silent roommates. He could be in a house, or an apartment. Either way, how can he afford it after school if he has no job? All of this is quite unclear, and equally valuable to the reader in order to get a sense of the main character’s situation pre-virtual reality. You can use this opening scene in which he struggles with the boredom to show his life before the internet. These are all details that could serve to provide context for the internalizations. Mix internal thoughts with external actions. Provide that context for the reader, and I think it’ll really draw them in to this character’s world.

As an example of my curiosity about the main character’s world, this line:

Quote:
It no longer mattered that I was in a desolate coastal town.


quite struck me. Desolate coastal town? I’m from a coastal town! We can so relate about all of the crappy, boring things about coastal towns! And then alas, it was never mentioned again, making that line wholly irrelevant the way the story is currently written. Except I know that it’s relevant to this character. There’s a certain kind of person who grows up in a coastal town and never leaves. I know several of those people. Is this main character that kind of person? I’d need to see him going about the town trying to find something to do, or at least thinking about stuff he could do and shooting the options down. Memories of going to school with the same people over and over could work very well. I see that’s something you plan on working in later. I say go for it. It’s actually a pretty interesting quality of small cities that you grow up with the same people through primary and secondary school. I’d love to see how it plays into the main character’s desire for both stimulation AND escape.

I know that’s what the conflict of the story is, but it ends so abruptly...how do you plan the story to play out? I know that’s a focus for future revisions, but if I may, I ask you consider what the story is building up to. Is it building up to an incredibly unhealthy addiction to the internet, like so obsessed he’s starving himself, and then he has to decide whether or not to eat and it’s so difficult? What will the climax of the story be? Is there drama? Drama=danger+desire. If you want to create drama, you have the desire, but what’s the danger? Something in the real world that your main character is afraid of? Or, if there is no drama, what is it that your main character really wants, and either gets or doesn’t get by the end of the story? So far I see that your main character only wants something to do, something to stave off boredom, though I can’t see why any options other than the internet, like a job or more school or even a hobby, weren’t satisfactory.

That brings me to the unrealism of not first considering the internet to ease his boredom in the first place. I don’t know what year this story takes place in, but these days I would call the internet “The Boredom Destroyer.” It is known that if you got boredom, pay it to the internet and it will give you entertainment gold for hours and hours and hours. How can he, as a student who had to use the internet during school, not have known the powerful, terrible allure of the internet when trying to complete an assignment?

Quote:
Maybe I have some old lecture notes I can read, I mused and turned to the dusty computer on my desk. I only ever used it for my studies, but surely there would be something on there to do. The internet is a big place after all.


That’s all that’s said about the character’s previous relationship with the internet. It strikes me as so utterly alien that in this modern day and age a computer could ever collect dust. This moment immediately threw me out of the story. I don’t know a single student who ever used the computer for their studies only. At the very least it doubled as a porn machine. And yet this character had the focus and self-control of a Buddhist monk when working on assignments? Occam’s razor means the simplest answer is most often the correct one. You could argue that this is the case with your character, but it would be such an uphill battle, it’d be easier to say that he didn’t own a personal computer outside of college because he couldn’t afford one. Or that he had a hobby that took up all of his time and broke his leg, then turned to internet. Or basically some other reason why he didn’t consider the internet first when he was bored.

The character’s first impulse when faced with boredom is to read books he already owns, and once he’s done reading all of them he reads them all again rather than buy more.

Quote:
I needed something, anything to distract me and ease the boredom. I scoured through my meagre supply of novels and devoured each one. They became stale and bland after the fourth or fifth read. There had to be something else. My fingernails had worn thin from the excessive compulsion to drum them on every surface. Tap-tap-tap-tap. One-two-three-four.


Why not go buy more books? Can he not afford it? That’d be understandable, but I just don’t know as a reader if that’s the case or not. It’d be worth noting here why he doesn’t pursue other things. As it is, the character strikes me as very unimaginative with his time. If he likes books, it seems reasonable that he’d try to find some old books in a used book store, or live in Barnes and Noble, or something like that, rather than sit at home tapping his fingers. He needed something, anything to distract him? Why not write, or become a book hunter, or try to build a library, or join a book club, or go to poetry readings, or catalog the birds he sees in his garden, or start a garden, or start cooking, or cleaning, or any number of other things an adult could do with spare time? His thoughts go right back from the crux of exploring more about his personality to school. I yearn to know more about his personal life and interests! Why is it more reasonable to him to lose himself in the internet than to pursue any of these other things? If the reader is aware of the travails and failures finding something to do, or something to keep the main character interested in motivated in these options, then the turn to the internet and the subsequent obsession with it becomes that much more powerful. I know that’s a possibility here, and I’d really like to see it.

ANOTHER EDIT AFTER REREADING: One last thing I want to make note of is the tense. It's currently in past tense, which tells me that this character is reflecting on something that already happened. This always poses the question: where is the narrator in the present? Why is she reflecting on this period of her life? I'm not sure what narrative structure you want to use, but you can consider alluding to the present in the telling of the story if you need to, or even have a scene showing us the aftermath of this obsession. Using the past tense and not referring to the present at all is like showing the gun in the first scene and then not using it. If you'd like for the narrative to play out in a linear fashion, consider the present tense. It's all the rage in first-person short fiction these days.

So, all that said, this is a psychological piece examining the interiority of a person who loses himself in the alluring web of the internet. There’s tons and TONS of potential here for this story to grow into something dark and compelling or fun and light-hearted. As it is, the tone could go either way. I think you have the talent to deliver the story to us readers in whatever light you choose.

I am really glad you posted this. I can really feel for this character right now for a lot of reasons. I want to see more about him, and what resolution this story comes to. I hope my critique lends you some help and direction over the course of your next revision. Best of luck to you, and thanks a lot for the read smile

Sincerely,

Eripsa
moonbird67's avatar

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Eripsa


Yes, I understood what happened at the end. To me, it read like a snake ate him/cheep. I can't remember which right now haha - I just woke up.
The Solarised Night's avatar

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Eripsa
Hi The Solarised Night. I’m Eripsa. Pleasure to meet you smile I’d like to critique your short fiction story “Virtual Obsession.”

I like this piece. I feel like I don’t have to comment on any local issues, so I’m going to focus on the more global aspects, if you don’t mind. I like the internalization throughout, and the relatability of the story. Case in point: it’s 3:24pm and I’m still in my pajamas. Of course, I’m waiting for my job to start so I can start making the moolah, and that’s the first question I have about your character. What I wanted from the piece was all about the character and about the external world of the narrative. You have the internal thoughts down great, and I say keep these because I get a great sense of the personality and motivations of the character. However, there’s still a lot I don’t know, and as a result I felt quite lost reading the story.

I realized that I didn’t know if the main character is a male or female, not even by the end of the piece.

EDIT: I reread the story, and I have concluded female as a result of this line:

Quote:
“I am isolated and alone; no one is going to see that I haven’t shaved my legs in weeks.

Only girls shave their legs! Right? Unfortunately I wrote this entire piece assuming the character was a male...I'm sorry. Just imagine I'm talking about another, exact same story in which the main character is a dude.

Back to the point: Gender is also alluded to when bullies call the character gay, but that’s a common and unisex insult, so I’m not inclined to tend one way or another. This story is about a human: a very interesting human's psychology. Gender is very relevant here, same for the character's name, or identity, also unknown. As well as the question of gender (and I’ll refer to your character using the pronoun ‘he’ for simplicity’s sake) and name, I am not sure what you mean when you say:

”The Solarised Night”
When I left school, I lost my purpose.


“Left school”? I would really recommend being very specific here, because this is essentially setting the stage for his descent into virtual reality. Did he drop out? Did he graduate? Was it high school? University? Which university? The fact that there were bullies leads me to think high school. If it was, then why isn’t he applying to universities? Or looking for a job? If it is University, why isn’t he looking for a job relevant in his field?

Along that vain, I have questions about his living situation. Where does he live if he no longer goes to school? Can he afford an apartment without a job? From all of his free time, I’d guess he’s living at his parent’s home. The impression I got at first was that he couldn’t find a job graduating college and so he moved back to his parent’s place until he could. Towards the end, however, it’s clear that he lives by himself or with some very, very passive aggressive and silent roommates. He could be in a house, or an apartment. Either way, how can he afford it after school if he has no job? All of this is quite unclear, and equally valuable to the reader in order to get a sense of the main character’s situation pre-virtual reality. You can use this opening scene in which he struggles with the boredom to show his life before the internet. These are all details that could serve to provide context for the internalizations. Mix internal thoughts with external actions. Provide that context for the reader, and I think it’ll really draw them in to this character’s world.

As an example of my curiosity about the main character’s world, this line:

Quote:
It no longer mattered that I was in a desolate coastal town.


quite struck me. Desolate coastal town? I’m from a coastal town! We can so relate about all of the crappy, boring things about coastal towns! And then alas, it was never mentioned again, making that line wholly irrelevant the way the story is currently written. Except I know that it’s relevant to this character. There’s a certain kind of person who grows up in a coastal town and never leaves. I know several of those people. Is this main character that kind of person? I’d need to see him going about the town trying to find something to do, or at least thinking about stuff he could do and shooting the options down. Memories of going to school with the same people over and over could work very well. I see that’s something you plan on working in later. I say go for it. It’s actually a pretty interesting quality of small cities that you grow up with the same people through primary and secondary school. I’d love to see how it plays into the main character’s desire for both stimulation AND escape.

I know that’s what the conflict of the story is, but it ends so abruptly...how do you plan the story to play out? I know that’s a focus for future revisions, but if I may, I ask you consider what the story is building up to. Is it building up to an incredibly unhealthy addiction to the internet, like so obsessed he’s starving himself, and then he has to decide whether or not to eat and it’s so difficult? What will the climax of the story be? Is there drama? Drama=danger+desire. If you want to create drama, you have the desire, but what’s the danger? Something in the real world that your main character is afraid of? Or, if there is no drama, what is it that your main character really wants, and either gets or doesn’t get by the end of the story? So far I see that your main character only wants something to do, something to stave off boredom, though I can’t see why any options other than the internet, like a job or more school or even a hobby, weren’t satisfactory.

That brings me to the unrealism of not first considering the internet to ease his boredom in the first place. I don’t know what year this story takes place in, but these days I would call the internet “The Boredom Destroyer.” It is known that if you got boredom, pay it to the internet and it will give you entertainment gold for hours and hours and hours. How can he, as a student who had to use the internet during school, not have known the powerful, terrible allure of the internet when trying to complete an assignment?

Quote:
Maybe I have some old lecture notes I can read, I mused and turned to the dusty computer on my desk. I only ever used it for my studies, but surely there would be something on there to do. The internet is a big place after all.


That’s all that’s said about the character’s previous relationship with the internet. It strikes me as so utterly alien that in this modern day and age a computer could ever collect dust. This moment immediately threw me out of the story. I don’t know a single student who ever used the computer for their studies only. At the very least it doubled as a porn machine. And yet this character had the focus and self-control of a Buddhist monk when working on assignments? Occam’s razor means the simplest answer is most often the correct one. You could argue that this is the case with your character, but it would be such an uphill battle, it’d be easier to say that he didn’t own a personal computer outside of college because he couldn’t afford one. Or that he had a hobby that took up all of his time and broke his leg, then turned to internet. Or basically some other reason why he didn’t consider the internet first when he was bored.

The character’s first impulse when faced with boredom is to read books he already owns, and once he’s done reading all of them he reads them all again rather than buy more.

Quote:
I needed something, anything to distract me and ease the boredom. I scoured through my meagre supply of novels and devoured each one. They became stale and bland after the fourth or fifth read. There had to be something else. My fingernails had worn thin from the excessive compulsion to drum them on every surface. Tap-tap-tap-tap. One-two-three-four.


Why not go buy more books? Can he not afford it? That’d be understandable, but I just don’t know as a reader if that’s the case or not. It’d be worth noting here why he doesn’t pursue other things. As it is, the character strikes me as very unimaginative with his time. If he likes books, it seems reasonable that he’d try to find some old books in a used book store, or live in Barnes and Noble, or something like that, rather than sit at home tapping his fingers. He needed something, anything to distract him? Why not write, or become a book hunter, or try to build a library, or join a book club, or go to poetry readings, or catalog the birds he sees in his garden, or start a garden, or start cooking, or cleaning, or any number of other things an adult could do with spare time? His thoughts go right back from the crux of exploring more about his personality to school. I yearn to know more about his personal life and interests! Why is it more reasonable to him to lose himself in the internet than to pursue any of these other things? If the reader is aware of the travails and failures finding something to do, or something to keep the main character interested in motivated in these options, then the turn to the internet and the subsequent obsession with it becomes that much more powerful. I know that’s a possibility here, and I’d really like to see it.

ANOTHER EDIT AFTER REREADING: One last thing I want to make note of is the tense. It's currently in past tense, which tells me that this character is reflecting on something that already happened. This always poses the question: where is the narrator in the present? Why is she reflecting on this period of her life? I'm not sure what narrative structure you want to use, but you can consider alluding to the present in the telling of the story if you need to, or even have a scene showing us the aftermath of this obsession. Using the past tense and not referring to the present at all is like showing the gun in the first scene and then not using it. If you'd like for the narrative to play out in a linear fashion, consider the present tense. It's all the rage in first-person short fiction these days.

So, all that said, this is a psychological piece examining the interiority of a person who loses himself in the alluring web of the internet. There’s tons and TONS of potential here for this story to grow into something dark and compelling or fun and light-hearted. As it is, the tone could go either way. I think you have the talent to deliver the story to us readers in whatever light you choose.

I am really glad you posted this. I can really feel for this character right now for a lot of reasons. I want to see more about him, and what resolution this story comes to. I hope my critique lends you some help and direction over the course of your next revision. Best of luck to you, and thanks a lot for the read smile

Sincerely,

Eripsa

Thanks for all of the advice. I started to dive into this story without much of a plan, just from things I've noticed about friends and some traits I picked up myself. The 'gay' part was added because someone said that if there are bullies, I need a very clear reason as to why they are targeting someone. I could have written something like "Lezzo" but maybe making it "fat" might be easier since girls worry about weight more and are more likely to be targetted for that. I'll get back to you again after the edits and details added.

edit: Also, to be honest, I wasn't sure about the characters gender myself. I have tossed up whether it should be a girl or a guy. Probably a girl because there is too much of a stereotype about fat guys at the computer screen in their parents' basement.
Eripsa's avatar

Intellectual Gekko

The Solarised Night

Thanks for all of the advice. I started to dive into this story without much of a plan, just from things I've noticed about friends and some traits I picked up myself. The 'gay' part was added because someone said that if there are bullies, I need a very clear reason as to why they are targeting someone. I could have written something like "Lezzo" but maybe making it "fat" might be easier since girls worry about weight more and are more likely to be targetted for that. I'll get back to you again after the edits and details added.

edit: Also, to be honest, I wasn't sure about the characters gender myself. I have tossed up whether it should be a girl or a guy. Probably a girl because there is too much of a stereotype about fat guys at the computer screen in their parents' basement.


No probs, Bobs! I wouldn't worry about boy or girl, just think about the kind of character you want to see. Boy nerds and girl nerds struggle with pretty different problems, so it all depends on how you want your character to end up in this vulnerable position at the beginning of the story.

Keep me posted smile
The Solarised Night's avatar

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Eripsa
The Solarised Night

Thanks for all of the advice. I started to dive into this story without much of a plan, just from things I've noticed about friends and some traits I picked up myself. The 'gay' part was added because someone said that if there are bullies, I need a very clear reason as to why they are targeting someone. I could have written something like "Lezzo" but maybe making it "fat" might be easier since girls worry about weight more and are more likely to be targetted for that. I'll get back to you again after the edits and details added.

edit: Also, to be honest, I wasn't sure about the characters gender myself. I have tossed up whether it should be a girl or a guy. Probably a girl because there is too much of a stereotype about fat guys at the computer screen in their parents' basement.


No probs, Bobs! I wouldn't worry about boy or girl, just think about the kind of character you want to see. Boy nerds and girl nerds struggle with pretty different problems, so it all depends on how you want your character to end up in this vulnerable position at the beginning of the story.

Keep me posted smile

I wish I had more access to the internet because it makes editing hard from my phone. I am still doing it though xd
Eripsa's avatar

Intellectual Gekko

The Solarised Night

I wish I had more access to the internet because it makes editing hard from my phone. I am still doing it though xd


That's dedication eek

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