Um, yes. I got your piece, and yes, I read it.
First of all, good job on getting it done. I know you have several, um, finishing issues. So that’s something to be proud of.
Yes. Well, I have several comments, but perhaps the best way to start is… okay, have you ever heard of a bathtub story?
No? The bathtub story is where a guy is in the bathtub and thinking about what he wants to do, all the memories he has, and the problems he’s facing. We don’t mind being with him for a while, but pretty soon, we – the audience – realizes he’s never going to get out of the bathtub. And that’s a big problem, because it… um… makes people not want to finish the story.
No, I know nobody is literally in the bathtub in your piece. Nor are they locked in a room or a basement. But one gets the feeling that… well, let me be more succinct. I got the feeling about halfway through that nobody was actually going to do anything. Pretty soon everyone – and I’m including myself here – starts to get desperate for things to go from A to B.
You also do two things that I personally… can’t stand. You use the word “azure,” which nobody says, except when they’re having their first lesbian experience and looking at the sky. Yes, the actual word “azure”. It’s uncanny how many times I’ve seen it.
The other thing? It’s the character who is looking out the window at a swingset while she’s washing dishes. I don’t know, it kind of makes me want to kill myself.
No, not literally. But yes, literally. I know that if I’m reading a story and someone is looking out the kitchen window while they’re doing dishes, I can pretty much take it from there. I know what happens. Meaning, of course, nothing happens, and nothing is ever going to happen.
Oh, and not to pile on, but there are a few things here that might be considered cliché. Every possible sentiment about “the small of a woman’s back” has already been done. Also, a character who says “be careful about what you wish for,” I dunno, I kind of want to punch him in the mouth. And nothing should ever be heightened by the phrase “like crazy”.
One more thing, and I know this is niggling, but spelling “retarded” like “retarted” proves an unintentional point. I’d even go so far as to call it “irony”, or as you say on page 32, “ironical”.
That’s really about it. I mean, overall, it was a… compelling piece. It just needs a slight overhaul of plot, character, and most of what happens in between, like descriptions, word choice, nouns, verbs, stuff like that. Oh, and it needs to be about two-thirds shorter.
No, no – I just hope I was of some help.