No Further by Matthew Acheson Story


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Post June 20, 2013, 12:16:38 AM

No Further by Matthew Acheson Story

I thought this was well written. The basic scenario is not new, but I thought the portrayal of the weariness, the desperation, and the fear of the besieged was well brought out, with an economy of words. There is a temptation in tales such as this to infodump: to explain the back story, in all of its detail, which Mr Acheson has neatly avoided. The protagonist *knows* all of that, so why would he write it down? It is the immediacy and the intimacy of the events described which give this piece its power.

Very nicely done.
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Post June 20, 2013, 08:29:47 AM

Re: No Further by Matthew Acheson

with regard to info-dump and knowledge of the situation by the protagonist, what do you think of Orwell's APE AND ESSENCE especially the intro?

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Post June 24, 2013, 10:03:57 PM

Re: No Further by Matthew Acheson Story

Wormtongue wrote:

The protagonist *knows* all of that, so why would he write it down? It is the immediacy and the intimacy of the events described which give this piece its power.


I liked this story for a lot of the same reasons you mentioned Iain. I hadn't given much thought to the narrator writing the story down until you mentioned it. It's a common enough technique, especially in horror. I can think of a couple of Lovecraft stories when the technique didn't work so well, where the narrator is writing down the story and actually starts to transform into something horrible at the end and yet continues to write the story. But in the case of this story I think it's important because the story is written in 1st person. By having the narrator write the story down, we don't know if the narrator survives or not until the end. It keeps the suspense up. If the 1st person narrator was just telling the reader the story instead of writing it in a journal that someone else could find later, logic would dictate that the narrator had to survive in order to be there in person to recount the tale. So I actually think it was a pretty good choice in this type of story. It keeps the suspense going, but also allows us to get the intense personal account of a 1st person narrator.

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Post June 24, 2013, 10:25:23 PM

Re: No Further by Matthew Acheson Story

I agree that this is an appropriate form for the tale, John. What I was commenting on was that I admired the author's restraint in limiting his tale to *only* those things that would naturally be included in a journal, rather than padding it out with back story.

Having said that, I want the back story, dammit! Get out there and write that novel, Mr Acheson!
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Post June 24, 2013, 11:13:19 PM

Re: No Further by Matthew Acheson Story

Sorry, I misunderstood.

It is a well crafted story and I bet any expansion of it would be interesting too. Always leave them wanting more. Right? :)

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Post June 25, 2013, 06:48:12 PM

Diction

I notice that this story uses a quick mention of this being a journal, and in one swoop allows a story that doesn't have more than a couple lines of dialogue. It also allows the longer complex sentences used, because journal writers often write differently than they would speak in a regular conversation.

Elsewhere I have remarked that I like strong unspoken narration, so this story has a nice sense of mood, different from clipped speech.
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Post June 27, 2013, 01:15:33 AM

Re: No Further by Matthew Acheson Story

The sense of doom pervades this little story from end to end, and the very personal view of the situation gives it enormous power. It is relentless.

To me, this story doesn't need any expansion. I think the readers can come up with everything else they need on their own, and that can take any number of forms.

Excellent job, Mr. Acheson.
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Post July 10, 2013, 05:43:48 PM

Re: No Further by Matthew Acheson Story

I know that I'm probably not adding anything new to the discussion here, as Iain, John and Lester have all covered it pretty well, but...

I just couldn't go without echoing their comments. Bravo Mr. Acheson! This one is a keeper! Great stuff! Thanks for sharing it with us.

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