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The Hartfield Creature by Dominic Lennard

PostPosted: August 29, 2013, 09:48:15 PM
by TaoPhoenix
Okay, so there seems to be a small streak of horror this month!

This time it's a twist on the Magic Artifact theme, in which it *creates* cursed beings rather than simply vanquishing them.

There's something a little uneven about the story structure of the long flashback. It's a valid method; just something about the length compared to the shell of the main story around it.

Re: The Hartfield Creature by Dominic Lennard

PostPosted: September 11, 2013, 05:16:28 PM
by Jay_Hill
Love it!!! This one played out just like an episode from a "Sasquatch" or other anomalous creature series on Syfy or Animal Planet, only relayed from a different vantage point, different perspective. What a great idea, and nice job executing it!

At some point, I will want to go back and re-read this one, and that is one of the best compliments I can give a story. Good stuff!

Re: The Hartfield Creature by Dominic Lennard

PostPosted: September 13, 2013, 08:23:02 PM
by Dominic_L
Thanks for the feedback guys :)

Thanks Tao, I have had someone else make a similar comment, that the sections don't quite fit together, which is I think similar to what you're saying -- although you've helpfully provided more detail on why. I suppose it doesn't bother me personally, but I am of course just one reader, and that's two now who've made similar comments; so it's indeed very helpful to know how your writing is treating others and how it might be improved.

Jay, thanks so much. I'm very thrilled to read that :)

Re: The Hartfield Creature by Dominic Lennard

PostPosted: September 13, 2013, 09:35:32 PM
by Lester Curtis
This would have been a lot better if the story line were linear, instead of being so oddly disrupted. I think the first part suffers the most, when you've got things like
No one could remember seeing Jack Fuller for at least a year.
Connie MacDonald's daughter was a practicing witch.
inserted into the background narration. Those two especially; they made no sense, since we hadn't met those characters at all yet.

Then there's the very short section that's out of sequence. After that, it proceeds in order, but those items are pretty confusing.

Also, I was beginning to expect more from that sword, since you spent quite a bit of wordage on it, but then it just gets chucked when it's no longer any more useful than a stick. That was a bit disappointing; important props should do something notable in a story, like maybe kill the bad guy.

Interesting theme, though, of the guy's progressive descent into animalistic madness.

Re: The Hartfield Creature by Dominic Lennard

PostPosted: September 15, 2013, 02:05:38 AM
by Dominic_L
Thanks for the comments, Lester.

Those intrusions ("Connie Macdonald's daughter . . ." etc.) I'm offering as sensational "samples", I suppose, to exemplify a suburb gripped in panic (hence they're rather melodramatic). They're whisperings, rumours . . . so I may need to work on integrating them into the flow better so that purpose is clearer.

I suppose the sword to me is more of a catalyst, rather than something the story should also resolve through. The main male character is deeply insecure; I mean the sword as a (for him) fascinating and irresistible totem of an archaic, violent masculinity. This prompts his change, however rather than merely stopping at the use and worship of this prestigious phallic item, he pursues that logic deep into the veritably neanderthal. So I might need to finesse the discarding of the sword more so it seems more natural and in line with what I'm going for.