Absurd, in the positive fashion!
This is such a fun little story. The idea is preposterous and works out delightfully well! Ivy could use a tad more personification I think, to stand out just a little more, and I don't think autopsies would have been performed in that room (maybe just casual observations?) but otherwise it's just a joy to read a story like this. This would do so well in a collection of sci-fi shorts.Read the story now
Where to start? I so wanted to give this story five stars in all categories. Your style has a certain flow to it, like you've been writing for a very long time. It's the kind of writing that's just engrossing. I have a feeling if I picked up a book of yours some day, once you've worked on the other aspects of your writing, it'd be the type of book I couldn't put down and would read in a single day.
For this particular story, I felt like like you were restraining yourself a bit. Caleb saying "effing" instead of "fucking" felt out of character for someone who has no problem otherwise insulting his brother. But I'd say use it only once, so it has a bigger impact. I wanted to see the "aspects of the universe" Andrew was pointing out, something mystical, incomprehensible to Caleb, and that was sadly missing.
The story slips into first person narrative a couple of times, and the ending for me fell a little flat, and broke suspension of disbelief.
Having said that, I'd still recommend reading this, if just for the style, and the dialogue, which is mostly very natural. The little bits of world building you've done were just enough to make me want to know more about their world. Well done! Keep on writing.
A diamond in the rough
When the author is describing scenes, like when the children are playing around the couch, that's when the writing style and story really stand out. The story should probably start with that scene, everything before it doesn't serve much purpose, and could be sprinkled in for the reader in other parts of the story.
I enjoyed the speed at which things happened, the pacing was really good an we get to the meat of the story very fast. The author has a good style that lends well to this story. It's a little rough at times, but I'd describe it as a diamond in the rough. This reads a bit like a first draft, with some bigger technical problems like changes of tense, but at this stage I would continue with the drafts, finish the story, and then revise.
Revisions can be a lengthy process, but this story would benefit so much from it. Already in this rougher state, the story and characters and setting have a certain life to them, which is a great achievement. With some love and care, the author's style and voice could be really unique, and appeal to a whole new generation of readers.
Short and sweet!
Your prose is elegant and easy to read. I found the story short and sweet, though the dialogue felt a little rough/forced in some places. I found the extra spacing between paragraphs to be really distracting too, and makes the story harder to read. That's an easy fix.
Otherwise, I really enjoyed this piece. It's brief, but that's all you needed to make an emotional impact. I'm impressed!
A great short mystery adventure!
I like your style. It's so easy to read, yet so descriptive and vivid. I loved the characters in this story. The mystery and suspense were palpable! The ending about the different colored berries was perfect. I could honestly just keep writing compliments.
I did notice that there's a few places where your tense switches from past to present.
There's also quite a few grammar (and a small handful of spelling) mistakes in this one, and some other little stuff like a rogue sentence. If you're not good at picking up these things, get some people to proofread for you. It would immediately turn to a five star story for me if this was cleaned up, cus otherwise your story and writing is really excellent!
A lovely portrait
I really like your writing style, it's very picturesque. For the length of this story, I didn't think it needed a plot. This "snapshot" of this person's life is all I needed. Any longer, and I would've started thinking what is the point of this? But at it's current length, it does what you sought to do very well.
I don't like stories in the second person. I feel like I'm being told how to experience the story, and sometimes this can come out as condescending to the reader, but that just might be my personal take on it. It just takes me out of the story a bit. I think first or third person would work better here.
Your dialogue tags aren't punctuated properly in some cases.
Otherwise, well done! Even with my little quibbles this piece was very well crafted. I especially liked the interaction of the crows with the wind, but honestly it's hard to pick a favourite part! Makes me want to go and read some of your other work.
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