December 03, 2020, 04:43:54 AM

Author Topic: [JUL 2020] - Old Man's Tale - Critique Thread  (Read 224 times)

Offline ScarletBea

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[JUL 2020] - Old Man's Tale - Critique Thread
« on: August 27, 2020, 04:29:29 PM »
Here is the possibility to get critiques for your stories entered in the writing contest - and to give critique as well.

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 its 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.”
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Offline ScarletBea

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Re: [JUL 2020] - Old Man's Tale - Critique Thread
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2020, 04:30:47 PM »
Last month ended up empty (still feel free to ask there if you'd like).

Anyone would like a critique this month? Shall we ask a published writer for something? Doesn't have to be famous like Cameron did for May, hehe

I'll start with something for @Nora (I've already told her, but you'll see that it doesn't have to be fancy).

This story was totally out of my comfort zone, since I don't normally go for SF, or space-opera, or such. I haven't read Becky Chambers as it doesn't really appeal and I didn't much like Ancillary Justice.
However, I really enjoyed Nora's story!!!

You made the machine/alien/thingie so human, it was lovely. I totally forgot it was about a machine, because her care for the children, her attention to details on their whole life, wanting to give them the best possible, was so touching.
Sometimes I mark down certain stories because I don't think it's got a proper beginning-middle-end, but this one did manage that.

And for @Caith, who I voted for.
The story was really appealing, I loved the hidden medal story, the mystery of never paying for drinks, the idea of the apparently lowly character being the best (which is a trope, but I don't mind!).
It reminded me of all the books where the old soldier is the main character, drawing on life's experience to teach the young 'uns something ;D
« Last Edit: August 27, 2020, 04:38:40 PM by ScarletBea »
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Offline Nora

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Re: [JUL 2020] - Old Man's Tale - Critique Thread
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2020, 01:38:28 AM »
Sorry, it's too late right now for me to contribute in a meaningful way, but I can't help a chuckle @ScarletBea :

Quote
You made the machine/alien/thingie so human, it was lovely. I totally forgot it was about a machine, because her care for the children, her attention to details on their whole life, wanting to give them the best possible, was so touching.

The creature is not a robot or an alien. It is a human, one who has had so many surgeries over the years to "fit" into a body type best suited for her role, that she neither looks–nor remembers how to think–like a human. Everything in there was heavily inspired by the works of Tsutomu Nihei, which I really like.
He's known for BLAME! and Knights of Sidonia and APOSIMZ. His characters tend to be monstrous machine mergers, deformed out of their humanity, sometimes only vaguely human in appearance, and tends toward organic mechas. I wanted, in that image, to depict a ship so vast, so far in an unlikely future, that all the brood it grows and carries is trained and tailored to work for it, within it. Almost like cells in a body, and the ship rids itself of every unpromising children, making the teacher a very sad character, whose humanity is the very thing making her miserable.
I saw the theme and wanted to not give you the life story, not voice it, because it'd be too horrible, too dark. I'm honestly surprised you liked it.

Please let me tell you how LITTLE my story this month has to do with The Long Way. I can't believe you still haven't read it. It's hardly scifi, it's fantasy in space, really, and excellent, top tier characters. I think you'd love them despite the setting.
"She will need coffee soon, or molecular degeneration will set in. Her French phrasing will take over even more strongly, and soon she will dissolve into a puddle of alienation and Kierkegaardian despair."  ~ Jmack

Wishy washy lyricism and maudlin unrequited love are my specialty - so said Lady_Ty