Beneath a Summer Moon by Camila Dodik


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Post June 12, 2014, 09:17:13 AM

Beneath a Summer Moon by Camila Dodik

This was terrific. It seemed a modern ragic folktale. Good Job!
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Post June 17, 2014, 08:00:41 AM

Re: Beneath a Summer Moon by Camila Dodik

SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS

To summarise:
Two little girls meet a man on a railway bridge, who tells them of his friend, a Starving Artist who is bad at his art, but not Giftedly Bad, and therefore also an Alcoholic, who committed suicide from that very bridge rather than get a steady job and acknowledge his failure.

Twist ending: The little girls are Psychopomps, the man is actually the friend he spoke of, everyone was dead all along. In death, he gets a redemption (I think), which is not the way suicides traditionally go, even in Japanese literature.

Pacing and flow:
Good pacing, flow was a little lumpy in places. Could do with polishing.

If you religiously follow the rules, there were a few basic issues:

    Adverbs - don't use 'em. Personally, I think this rule has become too dogmatic but I'm so sensitive to them in my own writing that they leap out at me when see them. Examples: Strangely, Steadily, Impatiently, Lovingly, Faintly.

    Show don't tell. Mainly in the young man's exposition, so maybe that's allowed. Also, adverbs are examples of telling instead of showing (see above).

    Some of the descriptive lines and metaphors bordered on the clichéd and sometimes were over the top.
    "...dark eyes like wells going deep into the earth. ", made me think of 2D (Gorillaz);
    "... eyes were pale like the moon", does she have cataracts?
    "liver-colored lips", I see this one everywhere at the moment.

The basic plot was good but the Starving Artist was so bad at his art (self-confessed) that I didn't feel that he deserved his redemption. He was never too good for this world. As a reader, I found myself agreeing more with the women on the train who were discussing 'little Anna', on this point. That's why I think I got mixed signals about the moral of the story.

Disclaimer:
This is my opinion and opinions are like arse-holes. Everyone has one and thinks that other people's stink.
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Post June 22, 2014, 03:01:57 PM

Re: Beneath a Summer Moon by Camila Dodik

I understood the premise and I thought the story was well paced but I wished more of the characters had names, most were referred to simply as "the young man" or "the old woman".

I agree that many of the metaphors were very over-the-top but I can't say I agree with Verse regarding adverbs. Too much of anything can be bad but I've seen adverbs used successfully by authors from Ayn Rand to Michael Shaara. I think telling rather than showing isn't such a bad thing, sometimes too much showing can be confusing, it all depends on what kind of story you're crafting.

Thank you for submitting this.
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Post June 22, 2014, 06:43:39 PM

Re: Beneath a Summer Moon by Camila Dodik

Wesson wrote:...I think telling rather than showing isn't such a bad thing, sometimes too much showing can be confusing, it all depends on what kind of story you're crafting.

Here, here! I agree with this assessment.

Look at exposition as fat on one's body. If you have little to no fat, the muscular and skeletal pronouncement makes a body look abnormal. Even body builders sculpt themselves with a certain percentage of body fat.

Too much fat is equally unhealthy, so a balance of the two leaves a more satisfying feeling for the reader.
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Post June 24, 2014, 10:48:03 AM

Re: Beneath a Summer Moon by Camila Dodik

Mark Edgemon wrote:Even body builders sculpt themselves with a certain percentage of body fat.

I think that's a great analogy Mark.
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Post June 29, 2014, 01:08:32 AM

Re: Beneath a Summer Moon by Camila Dodik

To me, the most powerful point in the story was:
"She has talent. As so many others do not. And you want," he felt his face growing hot, "her to give up her dream in order to live."


I also liked:
Next to that frog sat an ugly young woman. Oh, her face resembled the beautiful actresses on the cover of the supermarket gossip magazine she was reading, but the young man found the expression on it repulsive. There was glee playing around her lips as she perused articles about, judging from the cover, celebrities' stays in rehab, their divorces, their DUIs. A luxury purse dangled from her elbow.


I had a hard time keeping my willing suspension of disbelief with the young man's dialog, although it was somewhat refreshing just by its rarity. Way over the top--but then, so was Bradbury. This doesn't measure up to Bradbury's work, sadly.
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Post June 29, 2014, 07:13:29 PM

Re: Beneath a Summer Moon by Camila Dodik

Lester Curtis wrote:...This doesn't measure up to Bradbury's work, sadly.

I think Bradbury would have become a waiter instead of a writer, if he had read Wesson's imaginative tales.
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Post July 01, 2014, 03:42:33 PM

Re: Beneath a Summer Moon by Camila Dodik

Mark Edgemon wrote:I think Bradbury would have become a waiter instead of a writer, if he had read Wesson's imaginative tales.

Aw, thanks Mark!
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Post July 01, 2014, 07:46:50 PM

Re: Beneath a Summer Moon by Camila Dodik

Mark Edgemon wrote:I think Bradbury would have become a waiter instead of a writer, if he had read Wesson's imaginative tales.

Well, I've read Shakespeare, Burroughs, Wells, Twain, Heinlein, Clarke, Asimov, and more others than I care to count, and that didn't stop me. Mind you, nothing against Wesson, by any means, but a writer can't NOT write. We're here and we keep going because each of us have stories to tell.
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Post July 01, 2014, 08:41:30 PM

Re: Beneath a Summer Moon by Camila Dodik

I write because the story is inside and I want to let it out. I hope you enjoy it but I do it because it needs to be done whether you want it or not. I can't keep it inside!
Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong. – Neil Gaiman

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Post July 02, 2014, 12:00:30 PM

Re: Beneath a Summer Moon by Camila Dodik

Lester Curtis wrote:
Mark Edgemon wrote:I think Bradbury would have become a waiter instead of a writer, if he had read Wesson's imaginative tales.

Well, I've read Shakespeare, Burroughs, Wells, Twain, Heinlein, Clarke, Asimov, and more others than I care to count, and that didn't stop me. Mind you, nothing against Wesson, by any means, but a writer can't NOT write. We're here and we keep going because each of us have stories to tell.

That is what Robin Lipinski keeps telling me. He calls it a curse, but if it is, he's brilliant at it.

And for the first time in my life, I'm beginning to feel like a writer. It's working for me in a way it never has before. I'll be interested in seeing if others think my writing is working.

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