Flies by Roy Dorman


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Post August 27, 2014, 10:20:47 PM

Flies by Roy Dorman

This one's awfully thin.

First of all, it's one of those horror stories that I have to work really hard at to suspend my disbelief. Billions of flies (or anything else) have to come from somewhere, and there was no explanation. The fix for that would be simple: just put in a little bit about the outbreak starting somewhere and growing exponentially. Maybe they're a weaponized breed that escaped from a lab. That would also explain their abilities to bite (common house-flies lack biting mandibles) and their resistance to insecticide.

Setting note: the ground should be covered in drifts of dead flies. They have a really short life-span. Birds of all sorts should be getting fat on them. Bats, too, plus who knows what other fly-eaters are out there.

Characterization isn't too bad. But then Andy decides to drive off. Is this going to work at all? Forget flat tires; would a car's engine run at all with the air intake plugged with thousands of fly bodies?

There's no character arc, either. The humans in this story just live and die with about as much purpose and struggle as the flies themselves. Worse, they have nothing to make the reader care about them. They don't even appear to have families. It's okay if all your characters die in a fly infestation, just make sure they die trying to accomplish something worthwhile, like saving their loved ones. Give them a reason to live through this, and it will give the reader a reason to care whether they do or not. No such motive here.

Keep trying, Roy.
I was raised by humans. What's your excuse?

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Post September 03, 2014, 01:15:45 PM

Re: Flies by Roy Dorman

Gee, Lester, with a little dialog in this review you would have a nice piece of flash fiction. Kidding!!!! You're the critic and I'm the wise-guy author. This one came in at 990 words; just under the 1000 maximum. Since you and Eddie both thought there should have been more background detail, I probably should have stayed with it awhile longer and submitted it under the Short Fiction category. Thanks for the feedback, though, I actually do learn from criticism. Really, I do.
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Post September 03, 2014, 10:53:07 PM

Re: Flies by Roy Dorman

Roy you have unique ideas, your writing is fairly sound and you keep at it. Those are some of my favorite qualities in an author/peer.
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 September 03, 2014, 11:01:14 PM

Re: Flies by Roy Dorman

Welcome to the furnace, Roy. Good to see you can take the heat. ("But it's a dry heat!")
I was raised by humans. What's your excuse?

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