Majestic Fox

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About Majestic Fox

  • Birthday 09/18/1985

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    Newcastle, UK

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  1. No problem. Thanks for writing a story with attitude! Was a refreshing read. Good luck with the James White submission!
  2. I had quite a lot of critiques for this. Have sent them by email, as comments in word. The story has some good things going for it - the voice is strong and it made me laugh, but I think it has some issues. Robo-san, feel free to post the doc I sent here, if others want to see those comments. I'll leave it up to you.
  3. Just wanted to say thank you for everyone's feedback on this. I really do appreciate it.
  4. Apologies for the late reply. Been a hectic couple of weeks and just now got around to finishing my read of this. Overall impressions - it's good, enjoyable to read for the most part. I like how you're not afraid to spend time on the world-building - it can take confidence to do this when you're aware that it slows the pace. The chapter as a whole had a pretty good balance between character, setting and plot/action. That said, I found the first part of the story to be a little bogged down with exposition and tangents, for example.. 2nd para on p2, She was supposed to have keyed...etc... I appreciate you're trying to communicate what she's like, but this felt like a distracting tangent for me, and it slowed the down the story's unfolding even more - something I think you need to sparingly when you've already committed to spending a lot of your chapter's opening words on the enviro-suit. Humans could live without vegetation. - I found myself feeling a little sceptical about that, especially without any detail about how that's possible in your world. Not sure it's the best way to include this in the story opener. Some of the modern phrasing pulled my out of the story, for example p.1: Gore-Tex was still a thing. This feels like present day American slang. Didn't help my immersion. There's some effective description in the chapter, like the second para on p8. It has enough specificity and movement for it be immersive, and it reads well. There's also some less effective description, e.g. p1: a chalky, bland bouquet of boredom and science. Chalky works, but 'boredom and science' are too vague and abstract to help me imagine what it's actually like to experience a breath filtered through this envirosuit. And an example of mixed quality description: p4 - For E it was a way station. A bad aftertaste. A future gone horribly wrong. The first two sentences work well for me, but the last felt a bit vague - an phrase I feel like I've heard hundreds of times. I wonder if you could say this in a more specific and unique way on your next rewrite. P.1 Dunes and small valleys surround her. - Here's an example of description which is ok, but could be made more unique and specific on a later draft. Also worth mentioning here that I thought it was pretty cool how her faceshield gives her a readout of the dune's composition. Helps communicate this feeling of distance from nature I think you're going for. P.4 N still smiled and joked liked Q wasn’t a desolate, isolated colony planet. Like Earth’s memory didn’t oppress them hundreds of light years away. This last sentence is my favourite part of the whole chapter. It's a really interesting idea and I would to see that elaborated on, and perhaps even threaded throughout the story in a way that gets a little deeper into it each time. Good stuff! Please keep writing.
  5. @Alderant, you've put careful thought and useful insights into this feedback. Thank you. I really appreciate it. This was really useful to know. If anyone else gives feedback, I'd very much appreciate it if you would tell me what your interpretation of the story is. Spoiler: < The demon and the narrator are the same person. If anyone gets that from this first draft I'll be impressed. > I entirely agree. If there's a moral, what would you say it is? I'm not sure if I'm going for a punchy ending with this one. I've only read one flash fiction piece that had me thinking about it the day after I read it. It's really difficult to write a story lingers in the reader's mind, but that's what I'm trying to do with this one. If it's felt more than understood logically, then it will have done its job. Normally I'd agree, but there's no way to do what I want this story to do without shifting perspective (or if there is, I don't know how). It might be that I'm asking too much of a story less than five hundred words long, but it's good to experiment : ) Good point. Thank you. I'm very sympathetic to this point. I'm always harking on at other people to show more, tell less. I'm sure I can do a better job of it here, but with a five hundred word limit I have to chose when to tell and when to show. I'll try to improve those decisions on the second draft. It makes sense. Not at all. This is one of the best crits I've received. Thanks again.
  6. Hello everyone, I'm submitting something a bit different this week. It's a flash fiction story, only 461 words. Edit: A summary of your interpretation of the story would be immensely useful. Thanks. Other than your general impression, I'd like to know what the story makes you feel (if anything). If you're left cold or confused I'd also like to know. Finally, it would be interesting to know if the story stays with you at all, after you've finished reading. Thanks.
  7. Thank you for the feedback, all. I really appreciate it. @Mandamon - You're right about the ending. I've re-written it based on your suggestion. Thanks for that. Your instincts were right. (I've attached @kais - Yes, the cape is gendered haha. Don't know why but it made me laugh. I also didn't want to refer to the cape as 'it', and having the cape as a 'she' felt like over doing the feminism which is already at the heart of the story. The goat at the end of latest version (attached) is also male though. This goat could have been female, and I might even change it, though male goats tend to larger and perhaps less likely to run away when two humans randomly fall out of the sky (originally the goat was a sheep, but I changed it for this reason). @Robinski Thank you for your thorough feedback, Robo-san. I believe I gave a warning about the roughness of this draft, but even if I had time to go over it, I still wouldn't have picked up on everything you pointed out. You clearly have grammor skillz. I agree with everything you said, with possible exception of this: I'm not attached this, but to me 'Yeh' sounds different to 'Yeah', and for some reason it felt more true to the character to write it that way. I'd be curious to know if anyone else thought this was a misspelling, or if it felt odd. @industrialistDragon Fair point. If anyone does read the revised draft, then jump off from the bottom of page 8, since only the ending has changed. Thanks again. The Girl Trickster and the Living Cape - draft 2.docx
  8. I'll join Mandamon next week with another short story if that's alright.
  9. You've got some good things going on in this chapter. I'd say the most compelling thing is the idea you're working with - they definitely piqued my interest. There's also quite a good balance of dialogue to prose, which helps the pacing. Here are some things that might help you improve on the next rewrite. Chapter opening (first page) did not draw me in. It didn't immerse me in E's emotions/state of mind or her immediate surroundings. It didn't make me want to know what was going to happen next. I felt outside of the character - a step removed. Some sentences feel like they're trying to do too much, e.g. D's robe—E wouldn’t call her a majus, not anymore—drifted up in the air with each bounce, but her boots went high enough on her legs that none of her scaly skin showed. Exposition is crow-barred in and feels awkward to me. E was familiar with that skin. She had changed herself into a Ssn before, when they visited the insane Ari in Gloomlight prison. She'd unwittingly worn the skin of those who had subjugated the only remainder of her species. Is this a recap? Wondering why it is at the beginning of the chapter. Is it essential? Passive voice and repetitive sentence structure are the main problems with this bit, and they crop throughout the chapter. I like how D speaks. His phrasing makes him feel distinct. “Me, I can blindfold you if you wish. I can stop your ears and your nose. But you came voluntarily. Your brother, he did not." This is good. I’ll gather what information I can, and then I will free myself. She didn't plan on being here long, if she had any say in the matter. Her brother had been injured and was still shaking off the effects of the conglomeration of Ari in the Gloomlight prison when he was captured. E had come prepared, and of her own volition. She could do better. This bit is meant to establish her motivation, which is good, but it feels a bit distant from E’s emotions. I don’t really feel her compassion for her brother. I don’t get any sense of her emotional state, since we’re being told, not shown. Feels removed. The chapter is roughly 90% abstract (character thoughts, exposition, showing instead of telling, dialogue etc) and only 10% description. When we do get description, it often lacks specificity, movement, and sensory depth. I won't bang on about this since you're already aware of it, but I think this is one of the main reasons I don't feel as immersed in the story as I'd like to. When I'm reading this work it feels to me as though the author’s voice is stronger than the character’s voice. I don’t get much of a sense of who E is as a person - her attitude, manner, opinions, style, weakness distinctive traits, hopes, insecurities, burning desires, her unique way of thinking and experiencing the world. This is another main reason why the story is not compelling me as much as I hope for going in. I like the ending - what happens there is interesting and it does a good job of making me want to know what's going to happen next. The ideas in this story are definitely strong enough, and if you can make the characters more vivid and the prose more immersive then I feel like the novel will be vastly improved. Hope there's some useful stuff in there.
  10. Something a bit different this time.. A fun little faerie tale about a girl who wants to become a trickster. It's a first draft so apologies for typos and any roughness that slipped in. All feedback welcome.
  11. I'll throw another little short story into the hat if no one minds.
  12. Thank you shatteredsmooth.
  13. Thank you all. I very much appreciate it. I'll take all that and improve the story. Cheers.
  14. First off, I'm jumping in cold, not having read your previous submission, so please take my feedback with as much salt as you'd care to pinch. There are some interesting things about this... I appreciate that you've made an effort to differentiate your characters in the way they speak, and the world building is layered in throughout. Those are good things, and there are others, but I'll focus on what didn't work for me in the hopes that it'll be more useful to you. My main problem is that your pyramid of abstraction is inverted. There is a massive amount of abstract (and often dry) exposition, whilst the description is pretty thin on the ground by comparison. This is most notable at the beginning of the chapter. Hardly any words are spent on setting the scene - on conjuring an atmosphere as experienced through R's unique lens. And when we do get description it often lacks specificity, movement, and tapping multiple senses. As a result, I did not feel immersed in the story. The other big thing that stood out to me was the lack of the compelling conflict, particularly in the first part of the chapter. It gets a little more compelling toward the middle and end, but not enough to win me over. Right now I'd say the conflict is level averages out at around 4/10, and I need at least 7 on either internal, interpersonal, external levels (ideally two or three at the same time). Not easy, but then writing is hard. I'll end on small, odd detail. Page 2. '..No one's seen a hint of 'em for so long, could be anything.' This bit of dialogue (especially the end bit) has the feeling of clipped speech and struck me as realistic. It's a small thing, but good work is composed of little details like that. Hope the feedback didn't come across as too harsh. I'm sure you've got a compelling story here, which the folk who have read from the start will have a greater appreciation for than I do.