Details We Don’t Notice.
In January I submitted a “short” story to a writing contest at my school and got… nothing. This wouldn’t normally bother me terribly much except that I never got any feedback about it. It was just, “You failed. Too bad.”
So this past month, I submitted it to be critiqued on Critters and it was very interesting to find what kind of comments I got back.
I got some rather negative comments. Someone decided to point out that I could make the story, which is about 13,000 words, into perhaps a 7,000 word story. That’s fine. I admitted that my story I thought was too long and I wanted to cut some out. But he then went on to say that one way I could cut it down was by changing a sentence, gave me an example, and the example contained was. I avoid was. Like the plague.
He did, however, also give me the idea of making up my own form of intoxication, because then no one can complaining about me not being accurate.
Another complaint I got was the sweepers. Sweepers are a very difficult group of people to fully understand, since they are generally criminals who flee from society to avoid prison. In this world, prison is a very negative place to live, with many stigmas, so these are people, not completely dangerous people, who wish to maintain their liberties.
But sweeper code basically says that if someone comes, you take them now, ask questions later. Only the really dangerous criminals are turned over to the government when a sweeper ship is involved.
So a few complaints that I had consisted of mainly why did they take him on when he is obviously so green and rebellious? And also, a little bit more fleshing of the political situation with the sweepers. (Which now I’m wondering if I need that with Shad. With the whole story being from the sweepers POV, that might be very confusing for the readers.)
A few good ideas I got from it included things like making Kontyo stupidly smart. The idea is to make the reader not think that Kontyo is such a fool, keep him ahead of everyone else, and then have him fall flat on his face when he really isn’t ahead of everyone else. I like this idea. It sounds like fun. (It is totally not me, but hey, that’s the point of writing.)
So basically, I just need to get to the point of editing this story, which I haven’t. I got these reviews almost two weeks ago and nothing. I’m wondering I should write something small first.