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Fantasy Faction Writers => Archived Contests => Monthly Writing Contest => [DEC 2014] Religion => Topic started by: xiagan on February 01, 2015, 05:10:27 PM

Title: [Dec 2014] - Religion - Critique Thread
Post by: xiagan on February 01, 2015, 05:10:27 PM
So here is the possibility to get critiques for your stories entered in our Religion writing contest - and to give critique as well.

If everybody wants and gives critique, this thread will be pure chaos soon, while 2-3 critiques for as many stories shouldn't be a problem. We'll see how it goes and adapt if necessary. :)

So what we're doing is this:
1. Everybody who wants critique for his story posts in here.*
2. Everybody who wants to do a critique for a specific story (whose writer has asked for critique) posts it in here.

IF this thread is overrun fast, I'm splitting it so that every story has it's own one to avoid confusion. :)

* I know that critique isn't always easy to handle, especially if you are not used to it. So if you feel more comfortable receiving it in private, people can send it via pm. They can post here that they sent a critique via pm so that others know about it.

At the moment I don't think it necessary that we create a system balancing given/received critiques. However, if it turns out to be unfair and some people are giving critiques without receiving some (or the other way round) we have to add one.

Basic rules for critiquing:

This is just a small guideline for those that haven't done critiques before, stolen from this forum's writing section.
Quote
Critiquing Other’s Work
1. Please read what the poster is asking for before you post your critique.
2. Critique the writing, not the writer.  Never, “You are...” or “You should...” but rather, “The writing is...” or “The story should...”
3. We all have different levels of writing ability here, keep that in mind when critiquing.
4. Find what is right in each piece as well as what is wrong.
5. Remember that subject matter is personal. You don't have to like a story to give it a fair critique.
6. Remember what your biases are and critique around them.
7. Remember that real people wrote this stuff, and real people have real feelings. Things you may not say while critiquing: “That’s awful.”  “That’s stupid.” “You couldn’t write your way out of a paper bag.”
Title: Re: [Dec 2014] - Religion - Critique Thread
Post by: Raptori on February 01, 2015, 05:43:04 PM
We'd love some for our story, any thoughts and critique are welcome.

The most obvious flaw is the abrupt ending - we didn't have enough time to work out a way to cut down the rest to make space for a better conclusion - it feels like the story we were aiming for needed a greater word count for it to work properly.
Title: Re: [Dec 2014] - Religion - Critique Thread
Post by: Justan Henner on February 10, 2015, 04:22:27 PM
We'd love some for our story, any thoughts and critique are welcome.

The most obvious flaw is the abrupt ending - we didn't have enough time to work out a way to cut down the rest to make space for a better conclusion - it feels like the story we were aiming for needed a greater word count for it to work properly.

I'd be happy to give a critique. I will add it soon.
Title: Re: [Dec 2014] - Religion - Critique Thread
Post by: Justan Henner on February 10, 2015, 05:07:57 PM
Alright Raptori... this was actually one of my favorite stories. I only have a few comments. The prose is excellent as is the writing in general. My only concern was the pacing.

You start strong, the first few lines caught my interest well. I like how it begins with "The stars are a lie," like he knew it from the first and then forgot in his pain. Very cool. For me though, the "finding out where I am" part, took a bit too long. I don't know which part could be removed, or if it is even necessary, but I lost some interest during this section. I'd say there are two options here: either tighten it by removing some of the exposition, or interspersing his exploration of the cave with his memories of how he'd gotten there. Personally I think the second option is the better.

The human sacrifice part was cool, I didn't see it coming, but I feel like the reveal would have been stronger if you had set up the memory in a way that we see his journey to the tribe and his time among them so that the sacrifice comes as more of a surprise.

Your concern about the ending is partly unfounded, I think. I love that he has to gamble by leaping into the river, but I think what is missing is a sense of urgency. He doesn't fully explore the cave, which doesn't quite make sense on its own. If he had an injury that created a time constraint so that he must take this gamble now, or if he had fully explored the cave and decided this was his only option, I think it would work better. As it is now, it seems like he is just assuming there isn't another way out. I feel that if you made the cave smaller, made him feel trapped and desperate, it would add some tension and really make me believe that diving into the river is his one and only hope.

Hope that helps. Overall a great story, you two(?) have done well.
Title: Re: [Dec 2014] - Religion - Critique Thread
Post by: Raptori on February 11, 2015, 08:11:07 AM
Yeah I think that's exactly what we felt wasn't working actually, just couldn't properly put it into words or work out the reason it felt wrong, so that's a huge help. We'll try out a few of your ideas for improvements, they should make the story a lot stronger. Definitely think making him trapped and injured would make it a hell of a lot more interesting.

Very nice to hear you enjoyed it as well - and thanks for the feedback, it'll be a huge help I think! And yeah, there are two of us ;)