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What a well-written piece! Quite uplifting up to the very bleak prologue!
There were two things I spotted that stood out for me. Firstly, Maria’s name is first mentioned in the 6th paragraph, when it could easily be mentioned in the first. Names help us to get to know characters.
Could mention Maria in the first paragraph
Secondly you slipped into present tense at one point: “Her vision momentarily distorts as it begins to rain and the colours all bleed to grey. She knows she will leave soon, but not quite yet. He, is coming; of this she is certain.” I don’t know if it was deliberate.
Other than that, a really great, very well described piece. You manage to conjure up a whole world in turmoil just by describing key events; her friends dying, the phones being cut off. The details give it real depth, how the words even seem foreign to her. The ending seemed perfect. I am not a massive fan of the epilogue, but I certainly don’t hate it.
Keep up the awesome work!
Hi, thanks for the feedback. You touched on a number of good points here and, honestly, I agree with all of them.
Maria’s name should have been introduced earlier in the piece. The first draft of the story spiraled out of the initial image of a young woman, stood at the edge of a cliff, overlooking a sea of dead technology beneath a sky of TV static. If I were to re-write it, I would definitely identify her a lot faster for the very reason you cite.
As for the tense issue. Well, the honest truth is, that paragraph is need of an overhaul. As I mentioned at the top of the post this was written for an anthology that appears to have died a death. As it stands, the version of the story here hasn’t been through a proper editorial process and I haven’t been over it since sending off this draft four or five months ago. It’s a weak excuse, I know, and it needs fixing.
Finally, the epilogue. Even as I was posting the story I was in two minds as to whether I should keep it in. It was basically a short, cynical twist I tacked on to the story in this draft. A lot of publications I was submitting work to at the time were looking for the dreaded, ‘twist in the tale’ and, apparently, I felt compelled to include (an entirely unnecessary) one here. It doesn’t fit the tone of the story and it won’t be appearing in any future versions.
Thank you for taking the time to provide some solid, constructive criticism, it’s always appreciated.
I’m really glad it’s appreciated 🙂 I in turn massively appreciated the chance to read the story 🙂
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